Jaoui plays Agathe Villanova, a hard-nosed if insular feminist author looking to enter politics who returns to her childhood home in southern France to deal with her mother’s death. While in town, she is approached by two amateur filmmakers played by Jean-Pierre Bacri (Jaoui’s long-time writing partner) and Jamel Debbouze, who want to make a documentary on her. She accepts, but the subsequent period of self-analysis raises profound questions about her bourgeois upbringing, the ideological demands of her job (and how they impinge on her private life), and powers held by filmmakers who could ruin her.
While the genial comic tone and steady torrent of sharp one-liners and social faux pas are effortlessly carried forward from her past work, this is a more subtle, contemplative and mature film. She seems determined not to drape a conventional moral tale over these characters, instead offering a ragged (though engaging) narrative cross-cut at a specific juncture in their lives in order to examine the tiny emotional revelations that in turn create understanding and enrichment, and allow them to – partially – see beneath the surface.