Outsourcing of jobs and worker resistance make for a timely musical, “Footnotes,” imported from France. It isn’t a typical musical, as characters break into song in the style previously used way back in “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” or later used by Alain Resnais. But however, you regard the film, written and directed by Paul Calori and Kostia Testut, it is solidly on the side of the workers who make fashionable shoes in a rural factory for an owner planning to outsource production to where it can be cheaper.
What is job-needing Julie, an appealing young woman enjoyably played by Pauline Étienne, to do when she gets a trial job but lands in the midst of a labor dispute? If she goes on strike with the rest, she may lose her opportunity for permanent employment.
There is also the temptation of seductive Samy (Olivier Chantreau), a truck driver eager to have an affair with Julie. Predictably, romantic trouble is ahead.
The film thrives largely on its songs and look. The working women are pleasing to observe as characters, and the shoes are worth ogling, especially when the women opt for a style that becomes popular and undermines the villainous boss in Paris, a smooth-talking publicity seeker. The songs at key moments are fetching, and the film is shot attractively. In some respects, although with a different plot, “Footnotes” reminds me of “Kinky Boots.”
The filmmakers, while dealing with a serious subject, have turned out a frothy entertainment that celebrates working class unity and the need to stand up against the callous taking away jobs in the name of profits. A Monument Releasing release. Reviewed July 14, 2017.