Accorded an Oscar nomination, writer-actress Agnès Jaouis directorial debut is a divine comedy of manners brimming with humanity and humour. From the moment rough diamond industrialist Jean-Jacques Castella (co-scenarist Bacri) claps eyes on linguist Clara Devaux (Alvaro) in an amateur stage show, his world is so irrevocably upended that his obsession begins impacting on the lives of everyone around him in domino effect.
The fact that Jaoui screened several Woody Allen pictures before embarking on the project is readily apparent. But the authorial voice audible in Un Air De Famille (1996) is also recognizable in the shrewd dialogue and easy familiarity with the characters. Diffrent strokes isnt an original theme, but in the hands of so capable an ensemble it takes on unexpected poignance.