Faces Places (film)

Last updated

Faces Places
Visages, Villages.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written byAgnès Varda
Produced byAgnès Varda
Rosalie Varda
  • Agnès Varda
  • JR
  • Romain Le Bonniec
  • Claire Duguet
  • Nicolas Guicheteau
  • Valentin Vignet
  • Raphaël Minnesota
Edited byMaxime Pozzi Garcia
Music by Matthieu Chedid
  • Cine Tamaris
  • JRSA
  • Rouge International
  • Arte France Cinema
  • Arches Films
Distributed byLe Pacte
Release dates
  • 19 May 2017 (2017-05-19)(Cannes)
  • 28 June 2017 (2017-06-28)(France)
Running time
89 minutes [1]
Budget$1 million [2]
Box office$4 million [1]

Faces Places (French : Visages Villages) is a 2017 French documentary film directed by Agnès Varda and JR. It was screened out of competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival [3] [4] where it won the L'Œil d'or award. [5] The film follows Varda and JR traveling around rural France, creating portraits of the people they come across. It was released on 28 June 2017 in France and 6 October 2017 in the United States. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards. [6] The film was Varda's second-to-last work, preceding Varda by Agnès in 2019.



Directors JR (left) and Agnes Varda (right) Agnes Varda and JR 1.jpg
Directors JR (left) and Agnès Varda (right)

Varda and JR visit villages, small towns, and factories throughout France to meet communities of people and create large portraits of them to plaster on the surroundings. The process brings the two artists together as friends.

Varda repeatedly refers to Les fiancés du pont MacDonald, a short film she made with Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina in 1961. The film revolves around a young man, played by Godard, who sees the world through dark glasses. Varda notes the resemblance between Godard, who himself frequently wore sunglasses inside, and JR, whose public image includes sunglasses. Eventually, Varda and JR travel to Switzerland so that she may introduce him to Godard. When they arrive at Godard's house, however, he rudely refuses to see thembringing Varda to tears. To soothe her, JR shows her his face unobscured, but since she is losing her sight, we only see him blurred.


Critical reception

Faces Places received widespread acclaim from critics. [7] Amy Taubin of Film Comment called the film an "unassuming masterpiece", describing it as "both personal and populist, a celebration of artisanal production (including cinema), worker solidarity, and the photographic arts in the face of mortality." [8] For film critic Imma Merino, "it is a road movie through rural France in which the protagonism is yielded to homes and anonymous women that the filmmaker turns into giants. It is also an X-ray of the way to understand the life". [9]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 141 reviews, with an average rating of 8.84/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Equal parts breezily charming and poignantly powerful, Faces Places is a unique cross-generational portrait of life in rural France from the great Agnès Varda." [10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 94 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". [11]

Awards and accolades

The film won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, [12] the Most Popular International Documentary Award at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival, [13] and Best Documentary at the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards. [14] Time magazine listed it as one of its top ten films of 2017. [15] It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards. [6] The film received nominations for Best Documentary and Best Original Score at the 2018 César Awards. [16] Faces Places received the award for Best Non-Fiction Film by the New York Film Critics Circle. [17]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Luc Godard</span> French-Swiss film director (1930–2022)

Jean-Luc Godard was a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter, and film critic. He rose to prominence as a pioneer of the French New Wave film movement of the 1960s, alongside such filmmakers as François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Éric Rohmer, and Jacques Demy. He was arguably the most influential French filmmaker of the post-war era. According to AllMovie, his work "revolutionized the motion picture form" through its experimentation with narrative, continuity, sound, and camerawork. His most acclaimed films include Breathless (1960), Vivre sa vie (1962), Contempt (1963), Band of Outsiders (1964), Alphaville (1965), Pierrot le Fou (1965), Masculin Féminin (1966), Weekend (1967), and Goodbye to Language (2014).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Pierre Léaud</span> French actor

Jean-Pierre Léaud, ComM is a French actor, known for playing Antoine Doinel in François Truffaut's series of films about that character, beginning with The 400 Blows (1959). He also worked several times with Jean-Luc Godard and Aki Kaurismäki, as well as with other notable directors such as Jean Cocteau, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, Jerzy Skolimowski, Agnès Varda, Jacques Rivette, etc. He is a significant figure of the French New Wave.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Agnès Varda</span> French photographer, artist, film director and screenwriter

Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. Her pioneering work was central to the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing women's issues, and other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style.

<i>Notre musique</i> 2004 film

Notre musique is a 2004 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The film reflects on violence, morality, and the representation of violence in film, and touches especially on past colonialism and the current Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

<i>The Gleaners and I</i> 2000 French film

The Gleaners and I is a 2000 French documentary film by Agnès Varda that features various kinds of gleaning. It was entered into competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, and later went on to win awards around the world. In a 2014 Sight & Sound poll, film critics voted The Gleaners and I the eighth best documentary film of all time. In 2016, the film appeared at No. 99 on BBC's list of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century. The film was included for the first time in 2022 on the critics' poll of Sight and Sound's list of the greatest films of all time, at number 67.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">JR (artist)</span> Pseudonymous French artist

JR is the pseudonym of a French photographer and street artist. JR stands for the initials of JR's first name, which is Jean-René.

<i>Waste Land</i> (film) 2010 documentary film directed by Lucy Walker

Waste Land is a 2010 British-Brazilian documentary film directed by Lucy Walker, co-directed by João Jardim and Karen Harley, and produced by Angus Aynsley and Hank Levine. The music for the film was created by Moby, who is a friend and frequent collaborator of Walker. The film follows artist Vik Muniz as he travels to the world's largest landfill in Jardim Gramacho, just outside Rio de Janeiro, to collaborate with a lively group of "catadores" to make contemporary art using some of the materials they have "picked". Muniz donated the proceeds from the sale of his pictures of the artworks to the ACAMJG, which is a co-operative founded and led by Sebastião "Tião" Carlos Dos Santos, one of the catadores involved in the art project; the prize money from the awards won by the film was also donated to the organization.

<i>Goodbye to Language</i> 2014 film by Jean-Luc Godard

Goodbye to Language is a 2014 French-Swiss 3D experimental narrative essay film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Héloïse Godet, Kamel Abdeli, Richard Chevallier, Zoé Bruneau, Jessica Erickson and Christian Grégori and was shot by cinematographer Fabrice Aragno. It is Godard's 42nd feature film and 121st film or video project. In the French-speaking parts of Switzerland where it was shot, the word "adieu" can mean both goodbye and hello. The film depicts a couple having an affair. The woman's husband discovers the affair and the lover is killed. Two pairs of actors portray the couple and their actions repeat and mirror one another. Godard's own dog Roxy Miéville has a prominent role in the film and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Like many of Godard's films, it includes numerous quotes and references to previous artistic, philosophical and scientific works, most prominently those of Jacques Ellul, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Mary Shelley.

<i>One Sings, the Other Doesnt</i> 1977 French film

One Sings, the Other Doesn't is a 1977 French film written and directed by Agnès Varda that focuses on the lives of two women over 14 years against the backdrop of the Women's Movement in 1970s France.

L'Œil d'or, le prix du documentaire — Cannes is a documentary film award created in 2015. It is awarded to the best documentary presented in one of the sections of the Cannes Film Festival. Initiated by the Civil Society of Multimedia Authors and its President Julie Bertuccelli, the prize is awarded in partnership with the Institut national de l'audiovisuel and with the support of Cannes Film Festival and its General Delegate Thierry Frémaux. Since 2017, the Audiens Cultural Personal Joint Group has also been a partner.

<i>Sieranevada</i> 2016 film

Sieranevada is a 2016 Romanian film directed by Cristi Puiu and starring Mimi Brănescu. The plot follows a successful neurologist who attends a family meal supposed to commemorate his deceased father. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It was selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Cannes Film Festival</span> Film festival

The 70th Cannes Film Festival took place from 17 to 28 May 2017, in Cannes, France. Spanish film director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar was the President of the Jury for the festival and Italian actress Monica Bellucci hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. Ismael's Ghosts, directed by French director Arnaud Desplechin, was the opening film for the festival.

<i>The Image Book</i> 2017 collage film by Jean-Luc Godard

The Image Book is a 2018 Swiss avant-garde essay film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Initially titled Tentative de bleu and Image et parole, in December 2016 Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval stated that Godard had been shooting the film for almost two years "in various Arab countries, including Tunisia" and that it is an examination of the modern Arabic world. Godard told Séance magazine that he was shooting without actors but the film would have a storyteller. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The film was positively received by film critics. It was the final film directed by Godard before his death in 2022.

<i>Claires Camera</i> 2017 film

Claire's Camera is a 2017 drama film written, produced, and directed by Hong Sang-soo and starring Isabelle Huppert and Kim Min-hee. It was shown in the Special Screening section of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and released in France on 7 March 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Cannes Film Festival</span> Film festival

The 71st annual Cannes Film Festival was held from 8 to 19 May 2018. Australian actress Cate Blanchett acted as President of the Jury. The Japanese film Shoplifters, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, won the Palme d'Or.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rosalie Varda</span>

Rosalie Varda is a French costume designer, producer, writer and actress. She is perhaps best known for producing the documentary Faces Places, directed by and starring her mother Agnès Varda, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature nomination at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.

<i>Yomeddine</i> 2018 film

Yomeddine is a 2018 Egyptian drama film directed by Abu Bakr Shawky based on friendship relations. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, it won the François Chalais Prize. It was selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.

<i>Donbass</i> (film) 2018 film

Donbass is a 2018 internationally co-produced black comedy war film directed by Sergei Loznitsa. It was selected as the opening film in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Loznitsa won the Un Certain Regard award for Best Director, as well as the Silver Pyramid at the 40th Cairo International Film Festival. It was selected as the Ukrainian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It was filmed in Kryvyi Rih, 300 km west of Donetsk. At the 49th International Film Festival of India it received the Main Prize - Golden Peacock for Best Feature Film.

<i>Minding the Gap</i> 2018 documentary film directed by Bing Liu

Minding the Gap is a 2018 documentary film directed by Bing Liu. It was produced by Liu and Diane Moy Quon through Kartemquin Films. It chronicles the lives and friendships of three young men growing up in Rockford, Illinois, united by their love of skateboarding. The film received critical acclaim, winning the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.


  1. 1 2 "Faces Places (2017)". The Numbers . Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  2. JP. "Visages Villages". JP's Box-Office. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. Winfrey, Graham (13 April 2017). "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire . Penske Business Media . Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. Richford, Rhonda (27 May 2017). "Cannes: Agnes Varda's 'Faces Places' Takes Golden Eye Documentary Prize". The Hollywood Reporter . Prometheus Global Media . Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. 1 2 "Oscars 2018: The list of nominees in full". BBC News . BBC. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  7. Hudson, David (22 May 2017). "[The Daily] Cannes 2017: Agnès Varda and JR's Faces Places". The Criterion Collection . Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. Taubin, Amy (July 2017). "The Speed of Light in a Vacuum". Film Comment . Film Society of Lincoln Center . Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  9. J.C.L. (18 May 2019). "Agnès Varda, sota la mirada d'Imma Merino". El Punt Avui. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. "Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango . Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  11. "Faces Places (Visages Villages)". Metacritic . CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  12. "Announcing the TIFF '17 Award Winners". TIFF. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  13. "Indian Horse Wins Coveted VIFF Super Channel People's Choice Award". Vancouver International Film Festival (Press release). Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  14. Nyren, Erin (3 March 2018). "2018 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners List (Updating Live)". Variety. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  15. Zacharek, Stephanie (7 December 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time . Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  16. "Best Sound - Cesar Awards: '120 BPM' Takes Six Awards Including Best Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  17. "List of Awards by the NYFCC". NYFCC. Retrieved 9 February 2023.