I rent French films in bulk to work on my French listening skills. So I never know quite what I'm getting. Once in a while I stumble upon a gem such as this.
What it's about: Lolita Cassard, the main character, is a self-consciously overweight vocalist in music school. Her father, famous writer Etienne Cassard, constantly dismisses her and anyone else who's not advancing his career. He's the film's "bad guy," through and through. Yet all of the characters, though not as callous as Mr. Cassard, share his cold, opportunistic behavior to some degree. They're all stepping on someone to get to something better.
Why it's good: It's well written. The plot masterfully weaves the different characters to each other. The casting, directing, and acting are flawless. Husband and wife writer/directors, Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, also star in the film. They're the team responsible for Oscar-nominated film, The Taste of Others, which is great, but I like this one better.