Sydney Film Festival 2017

Sydney Film Festival 2017: ‘Madame’

The ambiance of The State Theatre added a touch of class for the world premiere of Madame. Set in the city of love, ‘Madame’, starring Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel, documents the story of an affluent American couple living in Paris.


Anne (Colette) is hosting a dinner party to showcase the talents of a budding young musician. She discovers to her horror that she has thirteen diners – which in superstitious terms is very bad luck – she entices her maid Maria (Rossy de Palma) to step in as the fourteenth guest. Anne assures Maria that as long as she doesn’t say too much, their secret will be safe. However, after copious amounts of wine and conversation, a budding romance blossoms between Maria and a British art broker (Michael Smiley). The unfolding events which follow are hilarious yet compelling.

The amazingly talented yet humble Amanda Sthers not only wrote the script but directed this incredibly joyous romantic comedy.

The film’s cinematography was sleek and flawless. Sther has also paid particular attention to the soundtrack as she believes music is a character in itself. The opening song was in fact a traditional French track fittingly titled ‘Madame’ which supported the Parisian tone of the film.

This film was light hearted, witty and had a wonderful underlying message that remains powerful long after you leave your seat. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Leaving Paris behind, I headed to the Festival Hub at Town Hall — a lively popup featuring a photo booth and ornate bar. Manning the bar is manager Olivier Massart, who crafted a beautiful bespoke BLOOM Gin cocktail. It perfectly pairs with a cheese board, decorated to the nines with olives, quince paste and creamy brie.

Glancing around, people were enjoying a virtual reality experience, lively discussions about the films they had just seen, or sharing a bit of a giggle as they popped in to the photo booth to record their own memento of the Sydney Film Festival.

What better way to spend a Monday evening with l’amour and a Bloom’s gin.

– Caitlin
When she’s not globetrotting Caitlin Martin loves to scope out Sydney’s hidden gems, with a camera and coffee in hand. Follow her adventures @caitlineliseeee.

The 2017 Sydney Film Festival runs from 7-18 June at various locations. Entry prices vary.
Purchase tickets at
Venues are accessible.
Check out our guide to the top five films featured at this year’s festival.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Cardinal Spin.
Image credit: Dialogue PR.