Natalie Portman stars as Laura the clever, sensitive elder sister to Kate (Lily-Rose Depp) who has a special gift for clairvoyance.
Relying on Kate’s talent for readings, the two sisters travel to Paris to try to make an income.
Nearly broke and disappointed, they do a personal reading for movie producer, Andre Korban (Emmanuel Salinger).
Enthralled by this otherworldly experience Korban promptly invites the sisters to stay with him and proposes that he make a movie about clairvoyance.
It’s simple, Laura stars as herself while privately Kate continues to make personal readings for him while they stay in his stunning home.
Directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, Planetarium is a pre-war drama set in the 1930’s and draws in the viewer with lavish cinematography.
There are rich visual images of home, interiors and glimpses of Paris life.
However, there is a clever play of emotions at work here with the relationship of the sisters with Korban which at times feels dark and questioning.
At other times the film moves to beautiful, light moments, the falling of snow, brought back through memory with the use of white floating feathers and the clear bright light of southern France where Laura basks in the sun.
There are so many layers to Planetarium, it shifts from light to dark and back again. It really teases out how, so often, we make automatic assumptions about the unknown and it sends us on a quest to find the truth.
Words by Elizabeth Lamont
Image by French Film Festival
Details: French Film Festival 2017| Palace Barracks Brisbane| 16th March – 9th April 2017| 105 minutes| tickets online and at cinema box office daily until sold out| French with English Subtitles