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Love in All Its Awkwardness

Aspiring jazz singer Bertie is effortlessly beautiful in her voice and demeanor. As a New Orleans native living in the South of France, you hardly ever get the impression that she’s out of place. Lane is a slightly different story. She is a free-spirited misfit, arriving in town with her oversized backpack, and frequently disappearing on random jogs through the dirt roads of orchards and vineyards. Bertie’s husband, Fred, is a French-native jazz musician, naturally elated to be back in his hometown, performing music with the woman he loves. 

The three were once intertwined in a polyamorous relationship with Bertie at the center. Since then, Bertie and Fred got married and escaped to the South of France, living their dream as jazz musicians. As the two live and perform together, it becomes apparent that not all is as flawless as it seems. As Bertie’s singing betrays an innermost discontentment with life, Fred believes Lane to be the antidote. The sudden reappearance of Lane throws the already distressed Bertie into a state of emotional turmoil as old love is reignited with flames of jealousy and compassion.

MA BELLE, MY BEAUTY is a story that anyone who experienced love can empathize with. The longing for companionship and physical touch, the emptiness when bereft of it. The capricious nature of love contrasts with a seemingly idyllic backdrop of weathered stone paths winding through vineyards and mountainous terrain, where all worries are lost, and relationships are cultivated through wine, music, and laughter. The film leaves viewers in a wholesome state of wanting to shamelessly express oneself through art and emotion. 

Nathan Lim joined HIFF in 2020 as a social media associate. He is drawn to haphazard story-arcs as byproducts of characters engulfed in varying forms of artistic passion. He also spent a large portion of his life memorizing scenes from Napoleon Dynamite.