Review: Marguerite (Xavier Giannoli, 2015)

Every so often, you’ll have a case where two Hollywood films with near enough identical set-ups end up being released within a year of each other, sometimes even within the same season. 1998 alone saw two major cases, with Deep Impact and Armageddon facing off in the summer, and Antz and A Bug’s Life battling towards the end of the year.

A stranger occurrence of late, though, has been a trend of sorts where a high-profile foreign language release bares some resemblance to a notable English-language title coming out around the same time. Danish thriller A Hijacking was inevitably compared to Captain Phillips because of the shared plot point of Somali pirates, while some critics last summer couldn’t help but compare Zac Efron-starring DJ drama We Are Your Friends to Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden (released a month earlier), solely because the films both concern electronic music (and not even the same kind of electronic music). However, with 2016’s most notable example, Marguerite, comparisons actually seem pretty valid: Xavier Giannoli’s French film is loosely inspired by the life of American socialite and amateur operatic soprano Florence Foster Jenkins, who has also had the official English-language biopic treatment this year, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Meryl Streep…

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