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Year: 2004
USA: New Yorker Films
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Lola Naymark, Ariane Ascaride, Marie Felix, Thomas Laroppe, Arthur Quehen, Jacky Berroyer, Anne Canovas, Marina Tome, Elisabeth Commelin, Christophe Hatey, François Noël, Yasmine Modestine, Annie-Claude Sauton, Nathalie Kirzin, Ludivine Morissonaud
Director: eleonore Faucher
Country: France
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA: 88 mins
UK: 87 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate sex
USA Release Date: 27 May 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 20 May 2005
UK Distributor
(in German)


Seventeen year-old Claire Moutiers (Lola Naymark) has managed quite well since moving off her parents' farm and into a quaint studio in Angouleme. Her supermarket cashier's job pays the bills, but more importantly, it promises Claire enough spare time to design the intricately beautiful embroideries that are her passion. Claire's parents see little of their daughter, but they know she's OK. The "mysteriously vanishing" heads of cabbage that Claire regularly swipes from the family farm provide proof. She trades the cabbage for rabbit hides, which she integrates into her latest designs. But Claire's new life in her studio, her job at the supermarket, and the development of her art, are all jeopardized by a secret she's been concealing from her family, friends and gossipy co-workers: she's pregnant.

Claire decides it's time to tell her best friend Lucile. She writes to her about how alone she's felt since Lucile left for Lyons, about the sanctity of her embroidery and about her wish to vanish for a month to give birth anonymously. It's a huge step for Claire, but not nearly as risky as sharing the news with her parents or boss. At five-and-a-half months, the anonymous birth she'd been hoping for is closer to becoming the talk-of-the town that she's dreaded. That is until Lucile writes back with news of her own. She is returning to Angouleme for a few days to visit her brother Guillaume, who is recovering from a motorcycle accident. Claire does not know that the accident that injured Guillaume is the same one that killed the son of Madame Melikian, a distinguished embroiderer living in Angouleme. It is Lucile's mother who tells Claire that the artist has responded to her son's death by burying herself in work.

Madame Melikian (Ariane Ascaride) designs luxurious embroideries for the haute couturiers of Paris. She may be struggling with the loss of her son, but she has work to do and agrees to hire Claire to assist her on a trial basis. Madame Melikian is quick to discover Claire is pregnant, but an unspoken understanding between the two artists safeguards Claire's secret. Claire has found herself a dream job, and working at the master's country house grants her refuge from the gossip of the town. Day by day, stitch by stitch, as Claire's belly grows rounder, the threads of their embroidery create a filial bond between them. In time, the grief stricken mentor and her anxious apprentice will stop protecting themselves and start helping one another.

A COMMON THREAD weaves a delicate parallel between the patience and effort it takes to create beautiful embroidery, with the trust and intricacy required to forge a life-changing friendship.

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