Tag Archive: France

Redoubtable (Le Redoutable)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jean-Luc Godard has already changed the world of film, having kick-started the French New Wave with Breathless and enjoyed massive success with audiences and critics, but by 1967 he wants something… Continue reading

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

B (out of 5) Luc Besson tries to recapture the spirit and look of his problematic but still superior Fifth Element with this adaptation of a comic book series, the most expensive film made in… Continue reading

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In The Fade (Aus Dem Nichts)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Diane Kruger is devastated when a bombing takes the lives of her loved ones, leaving her with nothing but sorrow and more than a few questions: who did it and… Continue reading

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Dunkirk

BBBBB (out of 5) British and French soldiers, approximately 400,000 in number, have been pushed back in battle to the French town of Dunkirk, their only possibility for evacuation the wide open sea… Continue reading

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Jimmy’s Hall

BBB.5 (out of 5) True story of Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward), who returns to Ireland in 1932 after ten years of exile in America, a dedicated socialist with no religious sentiment; in an… Continue reading

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Wasp (2015)

BB (out of 5) Olivier and James are going on for a minibreak to Olivier’s summer home in the south of France and have brought along a last minute addition: James ran into… Continue reading

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Graduation (Bacalaureat)

BBBB (out of 5) Just before writing her final exams, Eliza is assaulted on the street by an unseen attacker; her father Romeo, a doctor who deals with his estranged marriage from his… Continue reading

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Miss Sloane

BBBB (out of 5) Political lobbying is a cutthroat business in Washington, a job that involves winning at all costs and Jessica Chastain is proud doing just that with impressive consistency.  When the firm… Continue reading

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Free Fire

BBB (out of 5) A group of low creatures enter an abandoned warehouse to do a deal with another group of low creatures, and the process should be simple:  one bunch have boxes… Continue reading

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I, Daniel Blake

BBB.5 (out of 5) After suffering a heart attack on the job, a Newcastle construction worker (Dave Johns) tries to claim disability benefits and is plunged into nine circles of bureaucratic hell, constantly… Continue reading

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I Am Not Your Negro

BBBBB (out of 5) Celebrated author and civil rights activist James Baldwin worked on a book meant to cover the lives and deaths of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.,… Continue reading

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Alone In Berlin

BB (out of 5) After losing their son in battle, a Berlin couple decide that Nazi ideology is not worth believing in if the cost is to be so high.  He (Brendan Gleeson) continues his work… Continue reading

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Paterson

BBBB (out of 5) Adam Driver plays a New Jersey bus driver whose name matches his route, his days spent traveling the same roads again and again but his mind occupied with the poetry that… Continue reading

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Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) (Bang Gang (une histoire d’amour moderne))

BBB.5 (out of 5) Laetitia is a teenager on the verge of adulthood whose concerned father keeps her to a curfew; if he knew what she and her best girlfriend George were actually up… Continue reading

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Fire At Sea (Fuocoammare)

BBBB (out of 5) The Mediterranean island of Lampedusa gets a high number of distress calls from boats crossing the sea from Africa, with thousands of desperate refugees risking life and limb in the hope… Continue reading

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A Human Condition (Human, Too Human) (Humain, trop Humain)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Louis Malle trains his documentary camera on a Citroen factory for soothing, captivating results.  There’s very little spoken dialogue in the film, it is mostly observations of the workers operating… Continue reading

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The Salesman (Forushande)

BBBBB (out of 5) The stunning opening sequence of this absorbing drama sets the tension right away as an apartment building is threatening to collapse and forces its tenants to evacuate immediately.  A couple who are performing in… Continue reading

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Eaux Profondes

BBBB (out of 5) Jean-Louis Trintignant is married to gorgeous young Isabelle Huppert, their passionless marriage held together by an unspoken agreement to let her play around with other men.  She has a tendency… Continue reading

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Jacquot de Nantes

BBBB (out of 5) Jacques Demy originally intended to make a film based on his own memories of childhood but, with his illness becoming more serious, his wife Agnes Varda stepped in and… Continue reading

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Trouble Every Day

BBB.5 (out of 5) Claire Denis makes her way into the world of horror with his moody, sexy drama. Vincent Gallo and Tricia Vessey have arrived in Paris for their honeymoon, but their bliss is… Continue reading

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Le Jour Se Leve (Daybreak)

BBBB (out of 5) A shot is heard, a man stumbles out an apartment door and falls dead down a flight of stairs; the neighbours are upset, the police arrive and pretty soon the building… Continue reading

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Triple Agent

BBB (out of 5) Eric Rohmer investigates the true story of a man trying to remain apolitical in highly political times.  Russian-born Fyodor lives in Paris with his Greek-born wife, retired from the… Continue reading

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Manderlay

BB (out of 5) Lars von Trier’s proposed trilogy of observations of American society starts out strong with Dogville but moves on to a much less interesting second chapter (the third has yet to be… Continue reading

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Divines

BBBB (out of 5) Dounia sees school as a waste of time, her challenges in the rough suburbs of Paris including an alcoholic mother at home and teachers at school that prepare girls like her… Continue reading

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Fedora

BB.5 (out of 5) Penultimate film by Billy Wilder that seeks to recreate the atmosphere of Sunset Boulevard with a similar tale of imagined Hollywood lore. William Holden gives a reliable performance as a struggling film… Continue reading

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Macadam Stories (Asphalte)

BBB.5 (out of 5) 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… Continue reading

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History of Fear (Historia del Miedo)

BB.5 (out of 5) Latin American films that apply a realist flavour to an examination on class divisions are so standard that at this point you want to tell everyone to work it out… Continue reading

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Full Moon In Paris (Les Nuits De La Pleine Lune)

BBB (out of 5) Pascale Ogier plays an indecisive woman who lives in the suburbs with sporty, reliable Tchéky Karyo but feels the need to keep a pied-a-terre in the city.  She is up front with her… Continue reading

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The Marquise Of O (Die Marquise von O…)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A minor masterpiece from Eric Rohmer, probably the best of all his period pieces.  It’s about a beautiful, titled widow whose father’s citadel is raided and she is set… Continue reading

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Merry-Go-Round

BBBB (out of 5) Brooklyn native Joe Dallesandro shows up in France after getting a note from his estranged girlfriend to meet him at a particular time and place.  He doesn’t find her when… Continue reading

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Bad Seed (Mauvaise Graine)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Billy Wilder made his directorial debut in France before escaping oncoming Nazi power and heading to Hollywood.  He shows talent as a filmmaker early on in a charming story he co-helmed… Continue reading

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Noroît

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Rivette’s companion piece to Duelle is as visual splendid though not as invigorating.  Loosely inspired by (and including pieces of) The Revenger’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur, it stars Geraldine Chaplin as a woman… Continue reading

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Duelle (Une Quarantaine)

BBBB (out of 5) A mysterious beauty (Juliet Berto) shows up in a small hotel lobby late at night and asks the woman behind the desk to help her track down a man… Continue reading

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Rendezvous In Paris (Les rendez-vous de Paris)

BBBB (out of 5) This trilogy of failed romantic connections is one of Eric Rohmer’s most delightful films.  The first and funniest of three tales has a young woman learn that her boyfriend… Continue reading

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A Winter’s Tale (Conte d’Hiver)

BBB (out of 5) Eric Rohmer’s seasonal tales go to the months of gray skies and cold winds with this tale of faith and passion.  A romance on vacation brings Charlotte Véry together with… Continue reading

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The Green Ray (Summer) (Le Rayon Vert)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Marie Rivière needs a vacation from Paris in the summer but, since it’s Eric Rohmer and life is always charmingly bittersweet, all she finds is loneliness.  Summering in Cherbourg with… Continue reading

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Documenteur

BBBB (out of 5) Agnes Varda followed the shooting of her excellent documentary Mur Murs with this intelligent and absorbing fictional film.  It’s about a recently divorced French woman who is getting her act together… Continue reading

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Mur Murs

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This scintillating collection of eye popping images was made during Agnes Varda’s years working in California.  She invites us to share her fascination with mural art in Los Angeles, traveling… Continue reading

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The Angels’ Share

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A group of petty thugs and criminals are sentenced to community service, among them a bright but beleaguered young man named Robbie, whose newborn baby inspires him to want to… Continue reading

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Love & Friendship

BBB.5 (out of 5) Scandalous Kate Beckinsale, an impoverished widow who steals hearts easily with her still youthful beauty, departs from an estate she has been visiting after possibly turning a handsome married… Continue reading

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Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai

BBBB (out of 5) Forest Whitaker is terrific as a hired hit man who styles himself a modern day samurai, elegantly swinging his guns into his jacket as if they were swords and keeping… Continue reading

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The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of her late husband Jacques Demy‘s much… Continue reading

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Staircase

BB (out of 5) Richard Burton and Rex Harrison have been living together for over twenty years, running a barbershop downstairs and bickering constantly upstairs, with Burton taking care of his aging and infirm… Continue reading

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Paddington

BBB.5 (out of 5) Michael Bond’s delightful character creation, a veritable institution in England that was inspired by the sight of refugee children arriving in London in World War II, is brought to… Continue reading

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Goodbye Again (Aimez-Vous Brahms?)

BBBB (out of 5) Ingrid Bergman is divine as a Paris interior decorator who has been dating Yves Montand for five years, the both of them divorcees who are jaded about marriage and have… Continue reading

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La Vie de Boheme

BBBB (out of 5) Henri Murger’s novel, most famously adapted as an opera by Puccini and also as the musical Rent by Jonathan Larson, is here given the subtle, wry treatment by Aki… Continue reading

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Lights In The Dusk (Laitakaupungin valot)

BBB (out of 5) Aki Kaurismaki goes for film noir in this gorgeously shot piece, played in a minor key.  A shopping mall security guard falls for a gorgeous, mysterious blond and leaves… Continue reading

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Mr. Turner

BBBBB (out of 5) The life and work of J.M.W. Turner are visited in this impressionistic exercise in brilliance by Mike Leigh, here making yet another unforgettably perfect film.  It also marks a… Continue reading

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The Lovers (Les Amants)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Jeanne Moreau lives in the aristocratic country home of her boring husband (Alain Cuny) and, like all good women of the upper clutch, keeps a lover in town. When even… Continue reading

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