THE NATURE OF LOVE
Simple comme Sylvain
Los Angeles Premiere | Canada / France | 2023 | Comedy, Romance | 110 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Monia Chokri
Written by: Monia Chokri
Produced by: Sylvain Corbeil (Metafilms), Nathanaël Karmitz and Elisha Karmitz (MK Films), Nancy Grant
Cinematography: André Turpin
Film Editing: Pauline Gaillard
Original Score: Émile Sornin
Cast: Magalie Lépine-Blondeau (Sophia), Pierre-Yves Cardinal (Sylvain), Francis-William Rhéaume (Xavier), Monia Chokri (Françoise), Steve Laplante (Philippe)
International Sales: MK2 International
French Canadian filmmaker Monia Chokri dissects one woman’s mid-life crisis, the chasm between classes, and the notion that opposites attract in her deadpan romantic comedy The Nature of Love. Sophia is a 40-year-old philosophy professor in a long-term, intellectually-stimulating but sexually-tepid relationship with the equally cerebral Xavier. Then she crosses paths with Sylvain, the strapping working-class contractor renovating their country house… and libidinous sparks fly. Despite her well-prepared lectures on love and desire according to Plato, Schopenhauer, Spinoza and bel hooks, Sophia is now well out of her depth and plunges into uncharted emotional waters.
An accomplished actor, writer-director Monia Chokri has appeared in dozens of films over the years, most notably in Denys Arcand’s Days of Darkness (2007), and Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats (2010) and Laurence Anyways (2012). She moved into directing with the short Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (2013), which won the SXSW Grand Jury Prize, the Junior Jury Award in Locarno, the Grand Prix Focus in Montreal, the Best Short Film Jutra Award, and the Best Fiction film at the Tampere Film Festival. Her first feature, A Brother’s Love (2019), garnered the Un Certain Regard Jury Coup de Cœur Award in Cannes, and her second feature, Babysitter (2022) premiered at Sundance and nabbed the Best Feature Film Award at the Canadian Film Festival. The Nature of Love premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.