Tag Archives: france

L’Indivision by Mélanie Delloye (2021) 

Family drama. Pretty cathartic.

The story is set inside a large house with its own lonely inhabitant – elderly gentleman, father of the family. His children want to convince him to sell the house. He opposes.

As the plot unravels, we learn the family secrets and reasoning behind particular characters.

Well written and acted, with claustrophobic camera eye.

Watch it if you are into enclosed drama set out on the people’s faces.


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Filed under Warsaw Film Festival 2021

Mes provinciales by Jean-Paul Civeyrac (2018)

Over 2 hours in length in black and white. What to expect? It could be pretentious. But it’s not.

This film has everything I look for in the cinema. There is the protagonist: conflicted, entrapped in his own personality and indolence. Seemingly passive but in the end turns out to have had a clear agenda all the way. There is romance, there is love, there is quest for the sense of life and plenty of literature references (such as e.g. the original French title is a nod to Blaise Pascale’s “Les provincials”).

It’s set in Paris, so there is a lot of smoking, long discussions into the night over bottles of wine and traces of things that other metropolises do not have. There is also love and its diverse faces and measures. One of those films that leaves you thoughtful and pensive for a long time. Funny enough, we get asked one question throughout the film “why making films?”. Well this one provides a decent answer.

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Toril by Laurent Teyssier (2016)

A thriller wherein the emotions grab you by the throat.

Young man’s struggle with life, love, duty towards his father and desperate attempts at saving the family agricultural business.

What originally begins as long exposition, ends up a masterpiece of managing the audience expectations at exactly the right pace.

Feature debut and a really good mature film.

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Filed under film reviews, Warsaw Film Festival 2016

“Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu” (aka Serial (Bad) Weddings) by Philippe de Chauveron (2014)

It’s a French comedy. Not entirely successful but witty and funny at times.
The film aims at the almost impossible – taming the French middle-class viewpoint at ethnicity and the changing face and reality of contemporary France. Take immigration in 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation. Are they French or are they not? Different religious backgrounds, almost no difference in accents. Four middle-class French daughters marry for love. Each maintains successful relationships, bears children, implements tolerance on a daily basis.
It’s the 4 daughters’ father who has an issue with this reality. Perhaps it is in a way observant to introduce the ‘other side’. To introduce a black father who is against his son marrying into a white family. What is failed here is that no actual potential problems are presented. Perhaps because France is one of the few countries in Europe where multiculturalism has actually been in place for several decades. Mixed race children are all brought up to the same set of values like family, tolerance, fusion (especially in the kitchen) and patriotism. All the immigrant husbands can sing la Marseillaise in full voice with pride. They all observe Christmas and attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve to be with the family. Even though, Jesus was “only a prophet” to both David and Rachid (Jewish and Muslim).
All served in a light French way can leave some envious of such perfectly integrated society that despite minor cracks, manages to thrive among other European countries struggling with the growing size of immigrants of diverse backgrounds. Perhaps the lesson is this: learn from the French.

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Filed under Cinema releases 2014, film reviews

Ombline by Stephane Cazes #OffPlusCamera2013

This film has been granted the FIPRESCI award, was the runner up in the Main Competition and got also appreciated by the Youths Jury during Off Plus Camera 2013, which drew to an end last Sunday (April 21st) in Krakow, Poland.
Ombline is a private story of a young woman who finds out she’s pregnant after she has been arrested and put in jail for assault on a police officer guilty of the death of her late husband.
The plot circles around Ombline and her helplessness for most part of the film, but then she undergoes a transformation, bringing hope to people like her – flawed because of the circumstances she had to face as a child from troubled family.
Cazes worked on this feature debut of his for several years which is in a way reflected in the pace of the film – full of perfection, attention to detail and unforgettable lighting.
The beauty of the main actress does not allow for taking the hypnotised eyes off the screen.
It is sentimental, it is naive and it is slightly unreal. But – why not have a sentimental prison story for future generations.
Definitely worth my time.

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Filed under Off Plus Camera 2013

Sarah’s Key by Gilles Paquet-Brenner

An important, daunting film. Avidly written, formidably made. A cinematic story with an alarming amount of suspense. With beautifully talented Mélusine Mayance (b. 1999), mature and wise Kristin Scott Thomas and several good supporting roles.

The film feels made by a master-auteur. The dramaturgy is classically cinematic and excellently managed.

A must-see for every European and American as this is part of our shared history. This film is necessary because it’s important and cathartic – to paraphrase a line dropped halfway through the feature. I totally agree. It is not as brutal and crude as many other films touching upon the topic of extermination of Jews during World War II. It is shocking at points, but still an important position on the list this summer.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews