French cinema has always given audiences much to admire, with romance and comedy key elements to its success. 'Orchestra Seats', from 'La Reine Margot' screenwriter Danièle Thompson, is a fine example of what French cinema does best, and was France's official selection for the 2007 Oscars after winning in several categories at the César awards.
When Jessica (De France) moves to Paris to follow her dreams of fame and fortune and escape a bad relationship, she takes a job in a small café in the theatre area. There she encounters three people who are struggling with personal and artistic dilemmas.
Catherine (Lemercier) is a daytime soap star who wants to be taken seriously as an actress. By night she shoots her soap but her day is spent rehearsing a new play - and feeling very unhappy with the direction that it has taken. She dreams of an encounter with American director Sobinski (Pollack), who is in town to cast his new production.
Jean-François (Dupontel) is a world class pianist who has grown weary of his talent and the pressures of touring with his domineering wife. He dreams of a life of solitude and freedom, deciding to quit after his last performance of Beethoven.
Jacques (Brasseur) is a longtime art collector who decides to move on from his past and memories of his dead wife by selling his collection, much to the bemusement of his son Frederic. He feels his life is drawing to a close and hopes to make it up with Frederic before it's too late.
Each person has achieved so much but each has the desire to escape the life they created and detach themselves from their talents. Jessica acts as more than a waitress to all three, her confidence and freshness acting as a catalyst for each of them to reveal themselves and move on.
Danièle Thompson indulges the viewer's senses with this charming, light comedy. Using the city of Paris as a backdrop, the audience are treated to a feast of fine acting, music and art that fills each colourful frame. The dialogue is fresh and fun and the cast fill their roles with ease, complementing each other like a fine concerto. Jean-François' performance of Beethoven is a highlight to savour in a film of great quality.