The petit pain au chocolat of French films

Clara et Moi – available for free streaming on Amazon Prime
Like a simple petit pain au chocolat, “Clara et Moi” is everything you’d want a French love story to be – light, bittersweet and over way too abruptly.
But unlike mass-produced varieties, this treat is replete with heartfelt nuances both in the cinematography and the acting. Intentional shots through windows, word-play and micro-gestures all make for a romantic picture.
Even if you don’t understand French, you will surely enjoy the whispery voice of Julie Gayet as the words melt in her mouth. Her musical voice is a propos as voices and absence of voices is a theme throughout the film. A silent first-encounter on the metro, a racy phone service and even a musical number give the movie a sincere, heartfelt quality.
For ultimate enjoyment, don’t expect a dramatic plot; just close the curtains and let it sink in on a languid Sunday afternoon.
What was my favorite directorial choice? When the main character is reading a note that Clara left him, he hears her voice in his head reading it. But as he re-reads it, her voice is replayed in a different recording and at a faster pace. Genius.