The Passengers of the Night: Mikhaël Hers’ delicate, low-key drama follows a family, a divorced mother and two children, after the father leaves the house. Another young woman, a homeless, enters the picture, but she turns out to be less of a character and more of a narrative device. In any case, it’s hard to shake the feeling that her absence would not have changed the general direction of the story. The same goes for the time period chosen to set the narrative: a lot is made early on of the palpable optimism, but the film chooses to not be academic and does not really explain why it matters so much. Acting is subdued but efficient: Charlotte Gainsbourg, as the wife and mother who slowly finds herself, is excellent and touching; Noée Abita, as the young homeless, is not given a character as much as a symbol to play, but she is sweetly charming nevertheless; Quito Rayon Richter, as the son, is pretty good. Cinematographer Sébastien Buchmann gives the film quite a nostalgic look and the work of costume designer Caroline Spieth very effectively helps the film to feel from that time period.