Francine (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Academy Award winner Melissa Leo gives a fierce and restrained performance as Francine, a woman struggling to find her place in a downtrodden lakeside town after leaving behind a life in prison. Taking a series of jobs working with animals, Francine turns away others and instead seeks intimacy in the most unlikely of places. Gritty, elliptical, and voyeuristic, Francine is a portrait of a near-silent misfit and her fragile first steps in an unfamiliar world. -- (C) Official Site
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Melissa Leo
as Francine
Dave Clark
as Pet Store Manager
Mike Halstead
as Veterinarian
Marietta Hanley
as Prison Guard
Brendan Burke
as Prison Administrator
Robert J. Meredith
as Cab Driver
Danica Brodehead
as DMV Clerk
Colin Mulholland
as Customer with Hamster
Shane Lake
as Band
Karen Keefe
as Customer with Bird
Joey Hoeber
as Older Man
Barbara Forman
as Pastor's Wife
Alder Lakish
as Pastor
Deborah Scott
as Receptionist
as Band
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Critic Reviews for Francine

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (14)

While it's audacious on the part of the filmmakers (and of Leo) to keep Francine at arm's length from us, it makes the film a frustrating experience.

January 3, 2013
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Francine portrays a woman on the socioeconomic margins and the sort of fiscal cliff that personalizes the phrase no politician can avoid these days.

Full Review… | November 14, 2012
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, documentary makers trying their hand at drama, inspire a certain voyeuristic fascination toward the character but rarely sympathy.

Full Review… | November 8, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Melissa Leo plays her without inflection, giving us no instructions about what our opinion should be. It is a brave performance, an act of empathy with a sad woman.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

"Francine" is a small, detailed character study that never evolves into anything more.

Full Review… | October 24, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

What with the unexciting hand-held camerawork, and the off-putting script and lead performance, "Francine" remains as frustrating as its inscrutable title character.

Full Review… | September 13, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Francine

A harsh look at the reality of an ex-convict, Francine (Melissa Leo), adjusting to life outside of prison in a small lakeside town. A rough watch, but a well told story nonetheless. This is a strong character piece and may seem slow to most movie goers, but as heartbreaking as the film is, it delivers and leaves you somewhat beside yourself to think about your own choices.

Nick Radcliffe
Nick Radcliffe

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