updated: 13/03/2005

‘willingly’ shaved: Haut les coeurs!

This is a story that a US studio would have destroyed with mawkish sentiment. Instead what emerges in Sólveig Anspach’s film is a restrained depiction, handled with delicacy and pregnant with irony. Emma (Karin Viard) is pregnant and discovers she has breast cancer: to go ahead with treatment will kill her unborn child but to delay is likely to kill her. Karin Viard is usually associated with much lighter roles but she deservedly won a Cesar for her performance.

Emma prefers to have her head shaved rather than gradually lose it through the effects of chemotherapy: Karin had a zero setting buzzcut on-screen in the scene where Emma visits a barbers. Later her partner shaves her head smooth.

Sylvie Aid and Bernard Floch were the makeup artists.