Footnotes: French Musical Has Awesome Choreography

Monument Releasing

Footnotes (Sur Quel Pied Danser) is a French musical comedy with amazing choreography even if I couldn’t understand the language they were speaking.

Directed by Paul Calori and Kostia Testut, the musical comedy stars Pauline Etienne, Olivier Chantreau, François Morel, Loïc Corbery, and Julie Victor.

Footnotes is a musical comedy that was inspired by the films of Jacques Demy and Stanley Donen.  At the film’s start, we meet Julie (Etienne).  She’s losing her job at a shoe store and the only severance package she gets is a pair of shoes on the house.  The store isn’t doing well and she loses her job following the trial probation.

Struggling in the French economy, Julie lives out of her backpack as she job-hops until she gets a temp job at a women’s luxury shoe factory and works in the stockroom.  She’s making new friends at work, including Sophie (Victor), the boss’s receptionist, and Samy (Chantreau), a truck driver for the factory.  She’s got it made.  The hard times are now in the past.

But wait!  CEO Xavier Laurent decides to threaten the Jacques Couture factory’s closing.  Her co-workers decide to go on strike as a result.  The drivers side with the company.  For Julie, she has to decide whose side is she on.  Does she join her colleagues and strike?  Or does she decide to see if she can land a permanent position?

All the while, a romance is in bloom for Julie with truck driver Samy.

The choreography is amazing.  As the factory workers contemplate going on strike, the dance number is just awesome to watch.  Etienne is a great singer, too.  What makes Footnotes different from La La Land and other musicals is that the filmmakers decided to have different lyricists and composers so as to make sure that each character in the film has their own identity.

“Julie is representative of a generation accustomed to uncertainty, used to being bandied from temporary jobs to internships and fixed-term contracts,” the directors said of Julie being the protagonist.  “Her life, even in its most intimate aspects, is structured by this rhythm, this absence of horizon or long-term viability. When Laurence Parisot was leading the MEDEF (the largest employer’s union in France), she said: ‘Life, health, love are precarious, why should labor elude this law?’ It’s a daily struggle for Julie’s generation not to let this vision control their entire existence.”

Monument Releasing released Footnotes in the US this past summer on July 14, 2017, and the film started a weeklong run at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago on September 1, 2017.  The film will be released on VOD on September 19, 2017.  The film is in French with English subtitles.


Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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