Filmmaker Leo is searching for a wolf in the south of France. During a scouting excursion he is seduced by Marie, a free-spirited shepherdess. Nine months later she gives birth to their child. Suffering from post-natal depression and with no faith in Leo, who comes and goes without warning, Marie abandons both of them. Leo finds himself alone, with a baby to care for. It’s not easy, but deep down, he loves it. Through a series of unexpected and unusual encounters, struggling to find inspiration for his next film, Leo will do whatever it takes to stay standing.
"Men and women. I’ve never really filmed anything else; the stories of people who are alone together. And I wanted to invert the image of the 'single parent', to show that there are cases where men raise a baby on their own – maybe because they want to – exactly like a woman, who no longer shocks anyone by having a baby on her own. In the final count, is that not what the film’s hero was after? To have the child without the hassle of the mother? /.../ They always say “all the stories have been told,” but I disagree: Staying Vertical, at least, is typical of the kind of story you never see in cinema." (Alain Guiraudie)
Born in 1964 in Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Guiraudie asserted himself with his second feature film, That Old Dream That Moves, winner of the 2001 Jean Vigo Prize and presented to great success at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. While his subsequent works have all been screened at Cannes, Guiraudie gained unprecedented reputation with Stranger by the Lake.