Belgian director Frank van Passel’s 2002 production of the romance drama Villa des Roses is the Classic Tuesdays film that will be presented on Tuesday at 6 pm at the National Gallery, Castellani House, Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.
A press release from National Gallery said that the film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Belgian writer Willem Elsschot, follows the story of a beautiful young widow, Louise Creteur (leading French actress Julie Delpy) who loses her husband in the Titanic disaster and must leave her country home to find work as a housemaid at an English pension (boarding house), ‘Villa des Roses’, in Paris, a city bustling and prosperous even as the threat of the First World War looms.
She begins a relationship with one of the boarding house guests, Richard Grunewald, a young German artist (Shaun Dingwall), despite being warned against such interaction by the hotel’s owners, and the consequences of this leave her only a grim solution as a woman of little means and support and as her lover is called to war.
Filmed in silvery, glowing tones and bright accents of colour in an echo of an earlier era which would mark a change in European social life, the film’s ensemble cast includes notable British actors Timothy West and Harriet Walter.
The film won a Hollywood Film Festival Best Film award for director van Passel and British Independent Film Award nominations for Best Actress for Walter (as the pension owner’s wife) and for Shirley Henderson (as the pension maid) as well as a Best Production nomination. It also won the Best Belgian Film Audience Award at the Ghent Film Festival 2002.
The film is two hours long and is shown through the courtesy of the European Delegation in Guyana. The public is cordially invited to attend this event and admission is free, the release concluded.