Faces Places
Visages, Villages.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written byAgnès Varda
Produced byAgnès Varda
Rosalie Varda
  • Agnès Varda
  • JR
  • Romain Le Bonniec
  • Claire Duguet
  • Nicolas Guicheteau
  • Valentin Vignet
  • Raphaël Minnesota
Edited byMaxime Pozzi Garcia
Music byMatthieu Chedid
  • Cine Tamaris
  • JRSA
  • Rouge International
  • Arte France Cinema
  • Arches Films
Distributed byLe Pacte
Release dates
  • 19 May 2017 (2017-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 28 June 2017 (2017-06-28) (France)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
Budget$1 million[2]
Box office$4 million[1]

Faces Places (French: Visages Villages) is a 2017 French documentary film directed by Agnès Varda and JR. It was screened out of competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival[3][4] where it won the L'Œil d'or award.[5] The film follows Varda and JR traveling around rural France, creating portraits of the people they come across. It was released on 28 June 2017 in France and 6 October 2017 in the United States. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.[6] The film was Varda's second-to-last work, preceding Varda by Agnès in 2019.


Directors JR (left) and Agnès Varda (right)
Directors JR (left) and Agnès Varda (right)

Varda and JR visit villages, small towns, and factories throughout France to meet communities of people and create large portraits of them to plaster on the surroundings. The process brings the two artists together as friends.

Varda repeatedly refers to Les fiancés du pont MacDonald, a short film she made with Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina in 1961. The film revolves around a young man, played by Godard, who sees the world through dark glasses. Varda notes the resemblance between Godard, who himself frequently wore sunglasses inside, and JR, whose public image includes sunglasses. Eventually, Varda and JR travel to Switzerland so that she may introduce him to Godard. When they arrive at Godard's house, however, he rudely refuses to see them—bringing Varda to tears. To soothe her, JR shows her his face unobscured, but since she is losing her sight, we only see him blurred.


Critical reception

Faces Places received widespread acclaim from critics.[7] Amy Taubin of Film Comment called the film an "unassuming masterpiece", describing it as "both personal and populist, a celebration of artisanal production (including cinema), worker solidarity, and the photographic arts in the face of mortality."[8] For film critic Imma Merino, "it is a road movie through rural France in which the protagonism is yielded to homes and anonymous women that the filmmaker turns into giants. It is also an X-ray of the way to understand the life".[9]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 141 reviews, with an average rating of 8.84/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Equal parts breezily charming and poignantly powerful, Faces Places is a unique cross-generational portrait of life in rural France from the great Agnès Varda."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 94 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]

Awards and accolades

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2017)

The film won the Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival,[12] the Most Popular International Documentary Award at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival,[13] and Best Documentary at the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards.[14] Time magazine listed it as one of its top ten films of 2017.[15] It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.[6] The film received nominations for Best Documentary and Best Original Score at the 2018 César Awards.[16] Faces Places received the award for Best Non-Fiction Film by the New York Film Critics Circle.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Faces Places (2017)". The Numbers. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  2. ^ JP. "Visages Villages". JP's Box-Office. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. ^ "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. ^ Winfrey, Graham (13 April 2017). "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. ^ Richford, Rhonda (27 May 2017). "Cannes: Agnes Varda's 'Faces Places' Takes Golden Eye Documentary Prize". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Oscars 2018: The list of nominees in full". BBC News. BBC. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  7. ^ Hudson, David (22 May 2017). "[The Daily] Cannes 2017: Agnès Varda and JR's Faces Places". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ Taubin, Amy (July 2017). "The Speed of Light in a Vacuum". Film Comment. Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  9. ^ J.C.L. (18 May 2019). "Agnès Varda, sota la mirada d'Imma Merino". El Punt Avui. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Faces Places (Visages, villages) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Faces Places (Visages Villages)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Announcing the TIFF '17 Award Winners". TIFF. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Indian Horse Wins Coveted VIFF Super Channel People's Choice Award". Vancouver International Film Festival (Press release). Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  14. ^ Nyren, Erin (3 March 2018). "2018 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners List (Updating Live)". Variety. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  15. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (7 December 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Best Sound - Cesar Awards: '120 BPM' Takes Six Awards Including Best Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2019.