La Boulangerie

By Luke Jin | Romance
A budding romance between a baker and an Englishman reveals an unlikely heroine.

In a quaint charming village in the French countryside called Castillonnes, the villagers mount a small offensive against the "tacky English tourists" that come to their picturesque town. The town baker even asks his daughter Claudia to bake the bread to be tough and inedible, hoping to deter the foreign visitors.

The tactic doesn't work, and soon the baker takes more drastic measures: he decides to contaminate his own bread in hopes of making the English tourists sick, and drive them from his business once and for all. Claudia has misgivings about essentially poisoning the tourists, but goes along with her domineering dad.

But he doesn't count on the handsome English man (and his delightfully impertinent niece) who comes into the shop one afternoon, catching the eye of Claudia and adding a spark of romance to her day. Summoning up the courage to defy her dad, she decides to stand up for her convictions, becoming an unlikely heroine in her own story.

Writer-director Luke Jin's sumptuous, well-crafted summer romance short adds a acerbic twist to the classic fantasy of the pastoral, pretty French countryside vacation and romantic dalliance.

The visual storytelling retains the pleasure of the fantasy, especially with its lush, warmly rich cinematography and graceful camerawork. It showcases a setting that transports viewers to a beautiful place during a gorgeous season, offering the vicarious pleasure of cinematic travel. Add in the romantic plot for a bit of summertime romance, and it promises the ultimate diversion.

But the sweetness and beauty is livened by the touches of dark, sharp-toothed comedy, with its light but piquant observations upon the age-old rivalry between French and English, and the determined provincialism of the village, who want to be left alone with their bread, fields, and charmingly old-fashioned town.

The comedy isn't broad, but the writing and performances have an understated astringency to them that adds shadow and dimension to the romance in both the visuals and the story. The tone balances between the sharp and sweet, but eventually still builds to a funny, awkward climax that both pokes fun at the clueless blithe consumption of the tourists and crescendoes into a romantic fantasy that warms the heart.

In many ways, "La Boulangerie" hearkens back to a pre-Tarantino era of modern arthouse cinema, which offered visually resplendent, sweeping stories in often faraway or luxurious European settings. It retains an old-fashioned opulence and charm but mixes in a very modern sly humor, making for a film that is both divertingly entertaining, sweetly romantic and just a touch knowing without being ironic.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.