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La Famille Belier Review

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Talented teenage country girl Paula (Emera) dreams of becoming a big-time singer, the twist being that she is the only hearing member of a deaf farming family.

A crowd-pleasing hit in its native France, La Famille Belier is built on a high, probably Hollywood-bound concept: talented teenage country girl Paula (Emera) dreams of becoming a big-time singer, the twist being that she is the only hearing member of a deaf farming family. It’s broad, predictable, surprisingly bawdy for a family-friendly comedy (Paula has to explain her parents’ sex life to a gynaecologist) and borderline insensitive (Dad wants to run for mayor with the slogan “I hear ya!”).

For all that, it emerges as good-hearted. Viard and Damiens make likable parents but the César-winning Emera, a semi-finalist on France’s The Voice, adds a touching centre as the awkward teen who grows in stature. It’s a hard heart that doesn’t melt when Paula figures out how to share her gift with her family.

It’s broad, predictable, surprisingly bawdy for a family-friendly comedy but, for all that, it emerges as good-hearted.

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