Boxes (film)

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Promotional poster
Directed by Jane Birkin
Produced by Emmanuel Giraud
Written by Jane Birkin
Starring Geraldine Chaplin
Michel Piccoli
Jane Birkin
Natacha Régnier
Lou Doillon
Adèle Exarchopoulos
John Hurt
Maurice Bénichou
Tchéky Karyo
Music by Frank Eulry
Cinematography François Catonné
Edited by Marie-Josée Audiard
Release date
6 June 2007
Running time
95 min
Country France
Language French

Boxes (French: Les Boites) is a 2007 French film and the directorial debut of Jane Birkin. Birkin also stars alongside Geraldine Chaplin and Michel Piccoli. The film is based on Birkin's own family life, chronicling three marriages and the three children she bore from these marriages. The title alludes to the way in which she compartmentalises these relationships and stages of her life.[1] The film was nominated for the Grand Prix at the Bratislava International Film Festival. The film was screened in Un Certain Regard at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May.[2] It was released in France on 6 June 2007.


In Brittany, a middle-aged woman, Anna lives in a rambling home with her sometime dead father (Piccoli), her opinionated mother (Chaplin) and the memories of her three grown-up daughters. As Anna struggles with her mid-life crisis, the possessions and photographs in the home begin to spark her memories of childhood and earlier adulthood.

In particular the memories evoked are of her three husbands and the children she bore with them. Her first marriage to Fanny's English father (Hurt) failed and as a consequence, Fanny (Régnier) barely knows him. Fanny's half-sister is Camille (Doillon), who Anna had with Camille's now dead father, Max (Benichou). There is also her third husband, Jean (Karyo), with whom she had Lilly (Exarchopoulos), but he left to pursue affairs.[3]



Birkin wrote the script for Boxes in 1995, shortly after her father's death.[4] The film was shot in Birkin's own family home in Landéda.[5] Birkin offered the main role of Anna to Chaplin, but Chaplin turned this down, feeling that as the role was written for a 45-year-old woman, she would be better suited to the role of Anna's mother.[6]


Le Figaro praised the "worrying, unpredictable and touching sincerity" of the film.[7] Michèle Levieux of L'Humanité said that the film was so well written, it deserved to be adapted for the stage.[6]


  1. ^ A charmed life The Guardian. 28 October 2007
  2. ^ Out of Competition - Special Screening: "Boxes" by Jane Birkin Festival de Cannes. Retrieved on 29 July 2011
  3. ^ Boxes Variety. May 21, 2007
  4. ^ Tranchant, Marie-Noelle. Jane Birkin se dévoile à film ouvert. 6 June 2007
  5. ^ Cinéma: Jane Birkin réalisatrice, fin de tournage. SDA. 28 June 2006
  6. ^ a b Levieux, Michèle. Qu'est-ce qui fait courir Jane ?. L'Humanité. 28 December 2007
  7. ^ « Boxes» Un autoportrait éparpillé. Le Figaro. 6 June 2007

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