Cinema

  • Mommy: A French-Canadian Prodigy Takes Paris by Storm

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Director Xavier Dolan is considered a prodigy in France. At 25-years-old and with several Cannes prizes already under his belt, he’s being hailed as the French-Canadian Orson Welles. His new film, Mommy, has had a rapturous critical reception, and the Parisian public is flocking to this harrowing (and long) film. And Mommy is definitely worth seeing.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 24 October 2014 )
  • Gemma Bovery : Madame Bovary, C’est Elle

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Gemma Bovery is lushly filmed but oddly constructed, a movie that tickles your senses while your brain wonders whether it’s all a botched cinematic soufflé. It mashes up an update of Flaubert’s novel and an English-French encounter à la A Year in Provence.

    Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 October 2014 )
  • Maestro : Be Careful Of What You Don’t Wish For

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Maestro is a film you want to like, but almost can’t, because it tries too hard. It has a nice, original concept: Henri Renaud, an aspiring young actor who wants more than anything to be a star in conventional movies, instead lands a leading role in the latest opus of a renowned, but very artsy, auteur.

    Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 August 2014 )
  • Bird People : Lost in Transit

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Ever since her acclaimed first film Petits arrangements avec les morts, Pascale Ferran has been considered one of the French cinema’s most gifted filmmakers, especially interesting for being slightly askew. The idea of her making a film about an American adrift in Paris was tantalizing. Bird People (her first feature since 2006’s Lady Chatterly) is more than slightly askew—it’s at a vertiginous angle (maybe the perspective of a careening bird).

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 July 2014 )
  • Film Review: The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet (from the Director of Amelie)

    By Anne McCarthy

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet struck gold with his beloved Parisian film Amelie. The titular protagonist, a whimsical brunette who lives in Montmartre (Audrey Tautou), captured the hearts and minds of audiences and Oscar voters.

    Now, the director has done it again in his latest film, The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet. This 3D film features a mixed cast of Anglo and French actors, including Dominique Pinon, Helena Bonham Carter and the film debut of Kyle Catlett. The film is an adaptation of an American novel by Reif Larsen.

    Last Updated ( Monday, 30 June 2014 )
  • Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night): Sixteen Angry Workers

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Now that Ken Loach is getting long in the tooth, the Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have become the reigning co-monarchs (or co-commissars) of the European social film. 2011’s The Kid with a Bike was a brilliant mix of harsh social observation and sentiment. Their disappointing Deux Jours, Une Nuit (literally Two Days, One Night) may work as an effective tear-jerker (it convinced a jury in Cannes, where it won a special prize) but it’s too schematic to be a very good film.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 June 2014 )
  • 67th Cannes Film Festival - When Film Worlds Collide

    By Anne McCarthy

    Beginning May 14, the Cannes Film Festival enveloped southern France for twelve days. The festival welcomed a plethora of films, both stinkers and winners. The ones that earned the most praise and recognition were those with unalloyed simplicity.

    Last Updated ( Monday, 02 June 2014 )
  • Qu’est-qu’on a fait au bon Dieu ? (What Did We Do to the Good Lord ?): Praise the Lord and Pass the Lox

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    The French export small, intense intimiste films, but for local consumption they go crazy for broad comedies like Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis and Intouchables. The latter tend to be fun and corny, and relatively well-made, but like certain wines don’t travel well. Qu’est-qu’on a fait au bon Dieux (literally What Did We Do to the Good Lord?), directed by Philippe de Chauveron, is a big, splashy ethnic-racial-religious comedy that both celebrates and pokes fun at the melting pot that is modern-day France

    Last Updated ( Monday, 12 May 2014 )
  • Suzanne: Leaps of Fate

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Suzanne was one of 2013’s best films but also one of the most overlooked (including by this reviewer). Winning the best supporting actress César brought it some attention, but it’s playing in one solitary venue, the Entrepôt, a wonderful cultural space in Paris’ 14th arrondissement (currently in one time slot on one day of the week).

    Last Updated ( Friday, 02 May 2014 )
  • Les Garçons et Guillaume à Table! - La Cage Aux Folles Meets the Comédie Française

    By Dimitri Keramitas

    Les Garçons et Guillaume à Table (literally The Boys and Guillaume, At the Table) did very healthy box office in France and won the César for Best Picture (over stiff competition like La Vie d’Adèle and Jimmie P.)  But despite starring the talented Guillaume Gallienne (“of the Comédie Française”), who also wrote and directed, dealing with the current go-to subject of sexual orientation, and having many funny moments, it’s unlikely to transcend the local market as The Artist did a couple years ago.

    Last Updated ( Monday, 31 March 2014 )
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