This French film, masterfully directed by Robert Guediguian, is set in a working-class neighborhood. Jeannette (Ariane Ascaride) is a single parent raising her teenage daughter (nicely played by Laeticia Pesenti) and half-Arab son. After losing her job as a supermarket clerk, she tries to steal some paint from an abandoned cement factory. Marius (Gerard Meylan), a solitary guard there, at first chews her out but later gives her the paint and volunteers to help decorate her apartment. These two middle-agers make an odd couple: she's all fire and passion, he's quiet and reserved. Their romantic affair unspools slowly until Marius inexplicably drops out of Jeannette's life. She turns to her neighbors for comfort.
Starhawk has written: "Somewhere there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats . . . Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing." In this emotionally affecting film, Jeannette's neighbors become such a circle, pulling her through hard times. Although these working-class folk all have been worn down, they still have enough resiliency to support each other. Several men discover the dark secret in Marius's past that has made him turn away from Jeannette. One of them notes, "This guy doesn't have enough music in his heart to dance." So they help.
After the lights go up in the theater, sit and be silent for a while. You'll hear the melody to love that Marius and Jeannette has started playing in your heart.