Le Cours de la Vie: Lessons in Film … and Life

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Le Cours de la Vie: Lessons in Film … and Life
Le Cours de la Vie (literally Life Lessons), directed by Frédéric Sojcher, is a small film, but it has a compelling premise. What happens when long-ago lovers, who’d had a fraught falling out, meet again years later? This is the kind of thing that happens nowadays via social media, Google, and on-line sites specialized in reconnecting people. It’s not too dramatic from the outside looking in, but the film takes a more concrete form: Vincent, a director of a film school in Toulouse, offers a lecture gig to his ex, Noémie, a successful screenwriter (played by Agnès Jaoui). The consequences go well beyond the expected bittersweet reunion. Le Cours de la Vie @Tabotabo films et Sombrero films What gives the film a nifty twist is that Noémie’s talks to students about screenwriting obliquely treat life issues à la Dead Poets Society, and these issues, while often general, sometimes touch a personal nerve. Vincent sits in on the lectures, which is a little contrived, but it raises the tension. And when Noémie becomes more emotional, it affects her students, though they know nothing about Vincent and Noémie’s personal connection. Le Cours de la Vie @Tabotabo films et Sombrero films Agnes Jaoui’s acting talent and personal empathy anchor the film’s set-up. In fact, Ms. Jaoui alone makes the film worth seeing. Over the years she’s become a one-woman French film institution. As an actress she’s appeared in many films, usually in supporting roles, though in her younger years she was a ravishing beauty. At a certain age she’s still a radiant presence. She’s also directed several films. The high point of her career was Le Goût des Autres, which won a César best picture award, as well as a nomination for best international film Oscar. But it’s as a screenwriter that she’s won the most acclaim. For years, she and her husband, Jean-Pierre Bacri, were a celebrated writing team, a French version of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin. This gives her special authority in playing a star scriptwriter (on his side the director has taught cinema in addition to making films). Le Cours de la Vie @Tabotabo films et Sombrero films
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Lead photo credit : Le Cours de la Vie @Tabotabo films et Sombrero films

More in Agnès Jaoui, cinema, film, film review, Frédéric Sojcher, French Film Review, Le Cours de la Vie

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Dimitri Keramitas was born and raised in Connecticut, USA, and was educated at the University of Hartford, Sorbonne, and the University of London, and holds degrees in literature and law. He has lived in Paris for years, and directs a training company and translation agency. In addition, he has worked as a film critic for both print and on-line publications, including Bonjour Paris and France Today. He is a contributing editor to Movies in American History. In addition he is an award-winning writer of fiction, whose stories have been published in many literary journals. He is the director of the creative writing program at WICE, a Paris-based organization. He is also a director at the Paris Alumni Network, an organization linking together several hundred professionals, and is the editor of its newletter. The father of two children, Dimitri not only enjoys Paris living but returning to the US regularly and traveling in Europe and elsewhere.