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274 Ratings

Love at First Fight

Les combattants

Directed by Thomas Cailley
France, 2014
Comedy, Romance


Between his friends and the family business, Arnaud’s summer looks set to be a peaceful one. Peaceful until he runs into Madeleine, as beautiful as she is brusque, a concrete block of tensed muscles and doomsday prophecies. He expects nothing; she prepares for the worst.

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Love at First Fight Directed by Thomas Cailley

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2014 | 4 wins including: C.I.C.A.E. Award

César Awards

2015 | 3 wins including: Best Actress

2015 | 6 nominations including: Best Original Screenplay

Prix Louis Delluc

2014 | Winner: Best First Film

Kévin Azaïs and the reliably superb Adèle Haenel make an appealingly mismatched couple as kids drawn to each other while attending a gruelling military boot camp – imagine a real-world Hunger Games with a Gallic air of indifference.
August 09, 2015
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Haenel is a consumate joy to watch. Her ingenue appeal is not sexualised with Cailley instead drawing out the power and vulnerability of a woman with conviction. The fact that everyone else thinks that her convictions are batshit crazy provides humour but also fuel the ever-heightening sense that as in Daydream Nation, Donnie Darko and The Craft we are heading towards an abstract, end-of-the-world spectacular.
June 18, 2015
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[It’s] difficult, after all the acclaim, not to be disappointed by this engaging, quirky but slight film… Nevertheless, Les Combattants is not without charm. Its location on the south-west coast in a modest family avoids the clichés of either ‘miserabilist’ banlieue films or the usual affluent Parisian milieu of French auteur cinema. And there are the wonderful central performances. While Azaïs is excellent, Haenel confirms her promise from previous roles in Water Lilies and Suzanne.
June 05, 2015

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