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Mother's Fight Against Bureaucracy

MOVIE REVIEW
All to Play For (Rien à perdre)

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Genre: Drama
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 51m
Director(s): Delphine Deloget
Writer(s): Delphine Deloget
Cast: Virginie Efira, Félix Lefebvre, Arieh Worthalter, Mathieu Demy, India Hair
Language: French with English subtitles
Where To Watch: premiering May 25 at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival


RAVING REVIEW: ALL TO PLAY FOR takes center stage with its gripping story of a mother's fight against the impersonal bureaucracy machine in defense of her child's welfare. Nestled in the charming city of Brest, this drama sees Sylvie, brought to life by the exceptionally talented Virginie Efira, weathering the storm of administrative and legal complexities. What do you do when you have nowhere else to turn?


Delphine Deloget masterfully steers the film's narrative during the tragic ups and downs of Sylvie and the rest of the cast. Widely acclaimed for her impactful documentaries, Deloget ventures into new territory with ALL TO PLAY FOR, expertly tackling the turbulent waters of drama. Her foray into this genre has her eyes set on making a big splash at the distinguished Cannes Film Festival in 2023, where it was showcased under the esteemed Un Certain Regard category. Jean-Luc Vincent and Félix Lefebvre are rounding out the cast, their performances adding layers of authenticity to the film's engaging plot.

Deloget's journey in filmmaking is a riveting tale in itself. She graduated with a Master's degree in History before finding her true passion in documentary filmmaking. However, her cinematic journey isn’t complete as she traverses diverse themes and locales in her path to telling stories she’s passionate about. In her early career, she captured the heart-wrenching narrative of an Inuit child's forced migration from Greenland to New York, cementing her reputation as a storyteller.

ALL TO PLAY FOR introduces us to Sylvie's idyllic life with her children, Sofiane and Jean-Jacques, in Brest. But tranquility is shattered when Sofiane suffers an injury while home alone, sparking a chain of events that sets Sylvie on a mission that will forever change the lives of her and her family.

In the face of daunting legal and bureaucratic challenges, Sylvie's unyielding resolve and determination take the spotlight of the film's story. Powered by her love and backed by her brothers and a lawyer, she courageously battles the odds to fight for what is hers. This emotional storm showcases Deloget's exceptional skill at sculpting compelling narratives. Although not alone, as the cast tells this story perfectly, I have difficulty sitting back and imagining anyone else in these roles.

This film offers a look into Deloget’s skills to weave relevant, sensitive subjects into her narratives while shedding light on the resilience of the human spirit. It is a testament to a director who values human tenacity and the unparalleled depth of a mother's love. She takes these battles and puts human versus the faceless machine in a David and Goliath-style match.

ALL TO PLAY FOR is a must-watch for anyone with a penchant for stories that will charm you and leave you rooting for the “good guy,” the film displays such raw emotions through unforgettable performances.

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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY/CURIOSA FILMS]