Macadam Stories (2015)

SAMUEL BENCHETRIT

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  

Original title:  Asphalte

France, 2015.  , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Samuel Benchetrit.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Samuel Benchetrit directs three stories from his first volume of  Les Chroniques de l’Asphalte, all set in a run-down suburban apartment building.  A loner confined to a wheelchair after an exercise-related accident goes on nightly excursions taking photographs, along the way meeting a sweet nurse () on her smoke breaks.  A has-been actress () meets the young man across the hall after locking herself out of her apartment; he helps her with an audition that is essential to her crumbled self-esteem.  The best of the three tales has an American astronaut () accidentally land on the building’s roof and seek refuge in the home of an elderly French-Algerian woman; NASA tells him to cool his heels for two days while they figure out how to pick him up, forcing him to bunk with a stranger with whom he cannot communicate.  The divide these two cross is sweet and endearing, its deeper, relevant themes ensconced so comfortably in the wonderful chemistry that sparks up between them that it feels the least like a literary adaptation of the bunch. That said, seeing Huppert play a bad actor is worth the price of admission, and none of this film is boring or lacking in charisma.

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