Review: ‘Populaire’ is a love letter to ’50s films

September 4, 2013 • Entertainment

This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Romaine Duris, left, and Deborah Francois in a scene from “Populaire.” (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Jair Sfez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” meets “The Artist” in “Populaire,” a superbly crafted, finely acted but somewhat shallow retro rom-com about a young French secretary who, with the help of her highly persuasive boss, hammers her way to becoming one of the fastest typists on the planet.

This impressive debut feature from writer-director Regis Roinsard is boosted by terrific lead turns from Romain Duris and Deborah Francois (“The Page Turner”), as well as some stunning old-school cinematography from Guillaume Schiffman of “The Artist.” Still, there’s something formulaic and all too overtly crowd-pleasing about this sepia-toned tale of female empowerment and lost love, making for a rather soulless affair.

Set in the rain-swept towns of Lower Normandy in 1958, the film makes its throwback status heard loud and clear from the get-go, with opening credits (directed by Login to read more

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