Q&As with Éric Gravel on April 22 and 23

The everyday experiences of a divorced working mother desperately trying to make ends meet supply riveting, ferociously humane drama in Éric Gravel’s marvel of economical storytelling. Living in a distant suburb of Paris, Julie (Laure Calamy) wakes each morning before dawn, rouses herself and her two small children, leaves the kids with an increasingly fed-up babysitter, and runs to catch the train into the city to start her agonizingly early day at a five-star hotel. When a general transportation strike cripples Paris, Julie finds her already tiring day entering the realm of the harrowing, especially considering the interview for the better, higher-paying job she can barely fit into her breathless schedule. Gravel’s film of high-octane intensity, focused almost exclusively on Calamy’s expressive, relatable weariness, positions the director as a major new voice in French cinema, evoking the work of the Dardenne brothers and Laurent Cantet.