Sandrine Bonnaire makes this quiet film about a housekeeper learning chess from a reclusive widower (Kevin Kline) quite entertaining. When Helene (Bonnaire) spies a couple playing a romantic game of chess, she becomes obsessed with the game. She buys a chess set for her husband, who has very little interest in playing, and winds up getting tutored by Kroger (Kline), one of her grouchy bosses. Helene is a natural talent, and she finds herself in a tournament after a short time. She also has a bit of a crush on her boss. Bonnaire is charming, and Kline is quite good in a French-speaking role. This isn’t exactly electrified cinema; it can be very slow and plodding at times, but the two leads make it worthwhile.
Director: Caroline Bottaro
Producer: Dominique Besnehard, Michel Feller and Jean-Philippe Laroche
Cast: Sandrine Bonnaire, Kevin Kline, Valerie Lagrange, Francis Renaud, Alexandra Gentil, Alice Pol, Didier Ferrari, Laurence Colussi, Élisabeth Vitali, Daniel Martin, Dominic Gould, Jennifer Beals and Valérie Tréjean