Les petits mouchoirs



Despite a traumatic event, a group of friends decide to go ahead with their annual beach vacation. Their relationships, convictions, sense of guilt and friendship are sorely tested. They are finally forced to own up to the little white lies they've been telling each other.

Director's Statement

LES PETITS MOUCHOIRS is my third feature as a director and the most personal of the three. For this reason, I insisted on writing it alone and the process was uniquely intense. I say that it's a personal film because the subject matter is particularly close to me. It's close to people of my generation while resonating with younger and older people. Deceiving yourself comes very easy. It allows you to convince yourself you're right, to bury or shelve issues that are too painful to confront. It's when we develop the annoying, self-defeating habit of telling "little white lies". This film talks about people who have accepted their life, job or sexuality without ever wondering if it's really what they want from life or if they really are happy in their relationship. Through cowardice, force of habit or fear of the unknown, we often go through life without tackling these issues, without listening to our instincts or convictions and, above all, without listening to what our heart tells us. The importance of learning to listen is what I wanted to show through the characters in the film. They all have a weakness, a lie they've buried and don't want to own up to. An awful incident, like the one they are confronted with, forces them to face up to their lies. I wanted to set this story in an atmosphere of comedy and friendship. But comedy underpinned with seriousness, and so with important nuances in the tone of the film as we switch from almost slapstick scenes to others that are, I hope, very touching. I grew up with movies like Lawrence Kasdan's THE BIG CHILL, John Cassavetes' HUSBANDS and Yves Robert's NOUR IRONS TOUS AU PARADIS. They continue to be a source of inspiration, not just in their humour, but also in the sincerity their characters exude. That's why, in this movie, I wanted to be as credible as possible in the portrait of friendships, for that credibility to fill every scene. Casting the movie, I chose people I like and admire, who share one vital qualification for being in the film—they all know each other. I insist on the fact that it's a personal film because it's so close to me. Either I see myself in the characters or I've met people just like them.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Guillaume Canet

Written by: Alain Attal

Cinematography: Christophe Offenstein

Editing: Hervé de Luze

Production Design: Philippe Chiffre

Cast: François Cluzet, Benoit Magimel, Marion Cotillard, Gille Lellouche

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011