Screening at the Rendev-Vous with French Cinema 2013, Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater; March 10, 2:30 pm ET.
Michel (Jean-Claude Brisseau) is a retired math teacher who lives alone in a spacious Paris apartment he inherited from his wife who died 29 years ago. This very contentious and opinionated man is hard at work on a book on the plethora of human illusions. One day while working at his computer, Michel hears a scuffle in the hall. He finds a blood covered young woman, Dora (Virginie Legeay), whose assailant has fled. He takes her into his apartment and offers to call a doctor and the police. She says all she needs is some sleep and soon has dozed off on his couch.
In the morning, Michel learns that she is homeless, drifting from place to place. She admits that she has sex with men, does something to irritate or alienate them, and then moves on to another brief and meaningless relationship. Michel, who's been waiting a long time to have someone pay attention to him and listen to his out-of-the-box theories, agrees to let her stay for a while.
In return, Dora helps him edit his book. He is taken aback when she appears to be a psychic with the ability to levitate a table, the power to deal with malevolent ghosts, and an uncanny use of phrases his wife used years ago. This discovery has a huge impact on Michel: it takes him out of his head and into his heart.
The Girl From Nowhere was produced, directed, written, and stars Jean-Claude Brisseau, and it is only the surprising finale that saves it from being just another vanity production. Dora comes to mean many things to the retired teacher who sees her as his muse, his editor, his personal angel, and the reincarnation of his wife. No matter how he sees her, Brisseau is a grateful man.