Middle-aged André is the quintessential mother’s boy; his life is so inseparable from his elderly mother’s that they share an apartment, a bank account and a stultifying routine. His mother – the pointedly named Louise Dubois – spurned her chance of Hollywood stardom to raise him, and André’s guilt over her dashed hopes has ruined his life. Now he works as a taxi driver, ferrying his mother to lunch appointments at a restaurant she can little afford. But when a gregarious American suddenly turns up claiming to be Louise’s long-lost second son, the pair are thrown into a turmoil that will drive them right to the edge.

Lovely Louise is a touching drama about finding the courage to move on with your life. Director Bettina Oberli never lets the deadpan comedy get in the way of real emotion, and the film is blessed with strong performances throughout, from Annemarie Duringer, note perfect as the duplicitous Louise, living off the vapours of her dreams; to Irish actor Stanley Townsend as Bill, a man-child sweating fury, self-pity and charm.

Alistair Daniel
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival