The Colours of Fire: an heiress seeks revenge

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In The Colours of Fire, Léa Drucker plays Madeleine Péricourt, sole heiress to the bank her father established. She quickly learns the hard way who she can and cannot trust.

The Colours of Fire

The film is initially set in 1928 Paris when Madeleine’s father dies and Madeleine inherits her father’s bank. The loss of her father is not her only concern. Charles Péricourt, Madeleine’s uncle, and her father’s brother (played by the wonderful Olivier Gourmet who you may have seen in Two Days One Night, Edmond, De Gaulle), is appalled that he was not left a share of the bank’s shares and only a paltry 200,000 francs – “how will I pay my daughters’ dowries?” is a line that he will cry throughout the film. Gustave Joubert, her father’s advisor, (played by Benoit Poeelvoorde who is also in Smoking causes coughing at this year’s AFFFF) turns out not to have Madeleine’s best interests at heart.


Solange Gallinato the opera singer with whom Madeleine’s son, Paul is enamoured is portrayed remarkably by Fanny Ardant (La Belle Epoque, The Young Lovers) Alice Isaaz plays Madeleine’s maid Léonore Picard (you may remember her from Rosalie Blum and she’s also in Driving Madeleine at this year’s AFFFF). Clovis Cornillac both directs the film, and plays the role of Mr Dupré, who helps Madeleine (you may know him from The Fantastic Journey of Margot & Marguerite, and Belle and Sebastian, Friends for Life.


All of the cast are impressive in The Colours of Fire particularly Léa Drucker as the strong woman fighting to restore what she was cheated out of. Olivier Gourmet and Benoit Poeelvoorde are convincing in their roles as the bad guys.

The Colours of Fire/ Les couleurs de l'incendie
Clovis Cornillac and Léa Drucker Image: (c) Guy Ferrandis

The Colours of Fire is based on the novel of The Colours of the Inferno by Pierre Lemaitre and is a follow-up to his previous novel, also made into a film See You Up There (AFFFF 2021). The Colours of Fire is in its essence a film of Madeleine’s revenge against those who wronged her including her uncle Charles, and Gustave.


It’s an interesting film which keeps you on your toes with a few surprises along the way. It starts off quite slow but picks up pace at about the 35 minute mark. While the initial 35 minutes were setting the scene as it were, we feel that some editing and cutting could have tightened this up.


The Colours of Fire is a great historical drama, which traces a woman’s revenge against the men who wronged her with an impressive cast and a well-written script. We’re only a few months behind the French release; it came out in cinemas in France on 9 November. You can see the film at the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023.


Matilda Marseillaise watched the film via a screener.


Click this link to find out when The Colours of Fire is showing in your city.


WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 (AFFFF 2023) – the 34th edition of the largest celebration of French film outside of France!


Sydney, NSW: 7th March to 5th April – Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton St, Chauvel Cinema, Hayden Orpheum Cremorne

Melbourne, VIC: 8th March to 5th April – Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema

Perth, WA: 8th March to 5th April – Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square, Camelot Outdoor Cinema

Canberra, ACT: 9th March to 5th April – Palace Electric Cinema

Hobart, TAS: 9th to 19th March – State Cinema

Brisbane, QLD: 15th March to 12th April – Palace James Street, Palace Barracks

Byron Bay, NSW: 16th March to 5th April – Palace Byron Bay

Adelaide, SA: 23rd March to 19th April – Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas

Port Pirie, Renmark, Whyalla, Mount Gambier: 24th March to 26th March – Northern Festival, Chaffey Theatre, Middleback Arts Centre, Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre

Gold Coast, QLD: 29th March to 16th April – Dendy Southport

Parramatta, NSW: 29th March to 2nd April – Riverside Theatre Parramatta

Victor Harbour, SA: 3rd and 10th April – Victa Cinema

Bendigo, VIC: 21st to 23rd April – Star Cinema

HOW: The full program of 39 films can be viewed at the official Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 website via this link:

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices vary between cities and there are also discounted festival passes available if you want to see several films. (NB You will need to pick the films and sessions when purchasing the pass)


See below for more AFFFF content

Our picks from the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 program

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 first 15 films announced

Country Cabaret: a fun farm film to see at AFFFF 2023

Final Cut: a comedic zombie film that’s even for people who don’t like horror or gore

Sugar and Stars: an inspiring tale about the road to sweet success

Silver Rockers: a film inspired by the story of rocker retirees from Normandy

Which films won at the César 2023 and where you can watch them



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