Paris, Je T’Aime (2006)

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Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

France/Liechtenstein/Switzerland2006, , , , .  Transitions by Emmanuel Benbihy, Screenplay by Bruno Podalydes, , , Gus Van Sant, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas, Christopher Doyle, , , Isabel Coixet, Noburhiro Suwa, Sylvain Chomet, Alfonso Cuaron, Olivier Assayas, Oliver Schmitz, Richard LaGravenese, Vincenzo Natali, Wes Craven, Tom Tykwer, , Alexander Payne, .  Cinematography by , , , , , , , , , Rain Li, , , , , , , .  Produced by Emmanuel Benbihy, .  Music by , , , , Tom Tykwer.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , , , , , , , .  

Every heart is beating in sync in the City of Lights (and Lovers) in this wonder of a film. Producers Claudie Ossard and Emmanuel Benbihy invited 21 directors from around the world to create a 5-minute film about love set in Paris, each one taking place in a different neighbourhood, and the highly satisfying result is a veritable mini-film festival, a myriad of treats all for the price of one ticket. We experience love at first sight, love in bloom, fleeting moments of sympathy, deep expressions of grief, love struggling to survive and love past its bitter end as we move from corner to corner observing a wide assortment of characters and situations. A woman () mourns the loss of her son to the point of near-madness, a father () expresses his devotion to his daughter () while walking through the Parc Monçeau, an actress () has a moment of tenderness with her drug dealer, a philandering husband () rediscovers his love for his wife (), a maid () fights to keep body and soul together for her infant daughter, an engaged couple (, ) search the cemetary in Pere-Lachaise for a particular celebrity grave, a divorcing couple (, ) meets for one final drink, and a Denver, Colorado tourist () discovers a love for the city itself; these are just some of the delights this film has to offer. The happiest part is that all the films are, to varying degrees, good. Different audience members will have their individual favourites, but most would have to agree that they all work together beautifully, varying in tone, style and emotional impact until the kick-ass finale (by Alexander Payne) that encapsulates the entire experience so very beautifully.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2006

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