This is Our Land (Chez nous)
A fictionalized story of an attractive working-class single mother in the North of France who naively agrees to run for mayor, representing the right-wing Patriotic Bloc.
Lucas Belvaux, who previously directed RAPT, a thriller about a French politician’s kidnapping, deals with another type of kidnapping here: With the help of a charming André Dussollier as the town’s esteemed physician, the Populists’ rhetoric seizes control of the minds of the electorate.
With Catherine Jacob as the blonde-bobbed leader who never met an angry crowd she couldn’t make angrier.
"A thinly veiled assault on France’s far-right National Front. Candidates and volunteers are briefed on how to subtly play upon the prejudices and fears of potential supporters. These sequences carry a plausible tang of authenticity, while the gradual process by which the ‘apolitical’ Pauline.. is drawn into the (the party’s) web also feels convincingly organic."
"This Is Our Land may occasionally try to do too much, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want someone to make an American version of this film and blast it into every multiplex in the country."
"The drama is well-paced, and all of the actors are wonderful. Mr. Dussollier, a regular presence in the late works of Alain Resnais, is resourceful in communicating Berthier’s disturbing dual nature, and Ms. Dequenne remains appealing even when her character is making the most grievously ill-advised choices. THIS IS OUR LAND is scariest and most effective in its illumination of the appeal of today’s particular brand of French nationalism. [Catherine] Jacob’s work as Agnes galvanizes."