Andre Dussollier

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Diplomacy Review


Very Good

Expanded from Cyril Gely's stage play, this film remains finely focussed on a history-changing dialogue between two men on the day Paris changed hands from the Nazis to the Allies. The stakes are so high that the film can't help but be riveting to watch, even if the details of the real-life encounter have of course been fleshed out fictionally. Although some of the drama feels a bit underwhelming, the powerful performances make it remarkably involving.

In August 1944 Hitler levelled Warsaw in a fit of rage, then turns his sights to Paris, which is on the verge being reclaimed by the Allied forces. So he orders his commander there, General von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup), to flatten the city and kill as many people as possible in retaliation for Allied attacks on Berlin. Choltitz dutifully lays explosive charges on the bridges and plots the destruction of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Hitler's favourite landmark, the Opera. Then French-born Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling (Andre Dussollier) turns up to offer an impassioned plea for the city. Choltitz says he's obeying orders, but Nordling begs him to consider the consequences for both mankind and his own future.

Obviously, Paris survived the war, and knowing the outcome of these intense negotiations eliminates much of the suspense, so the film's entertainment value is in the quality of the argument, which plays out in real time as these men manoeuvre to get the upper hand in the discussion. Again, this isn't much of a contest, as Nordling always has the moral authority, but Choltitz is caught in a nasty situation, wanting to do his duty even though he knows it's the wrong thing to do. Unfolding in real time, there are constant wrinkles along the way as we wait for the argument that sways everything. So it's a little disappointing that Gely and veteran director-cowriter Volker Schlondorff rely instead on some twists in the tale to spur things forward.

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Andre Dussollier - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Opening Ceremony & 'Grace Of Monaco' Premiere - Cannes, France - Wednesday 14th May 2014

Andre Dussollier
Andre Dussollier
Andre Dussollier

An Ordinary Execution [une Execution Ordinaire] Review


Excellent
With a thoughtful and introspective tone, this film continually surprises us as its story unfurls and a young doctor's life takes a strange and portentous turn, colliding with one of history's most notorious figures.

In 1952 Stalin (Dussollier) "purges" the Kremlin of what he thinks are evil Jewish doctors. But he continues to get ill, so he has Dr Anna Atlina (Hands) brought to treat him. She's shocked at meeting the infamous premier, especially as he's heard she has a magnetic power in her hands. She helps alleviate his pain, and as she leaves he threatens her with execution if she ever tells anyone. Her entire life changes bewilderingly as a result, and she never knows when Stalin will summon her next.

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WIld Grass [Les Herbes Folles] Review


Very Good
At age 87, director Resnais creates a playful and often infuriating comedy about the impulsive things people do in reaction to something unexpected. And even though it's not an easy film, it's still great fun.

When the imaginative Georges (Dussollier) finds a wallet in a parking garage, he begins to wonder about the owner. He hands the wallet to a cop (Amalric) and goes home to his wife (Anne Consigny), with whom he has two adult children (Forestier and Vladimir Consigny). Meanwhile, the wallet's owner, Marguerite (Azema), also begins to wonder about this strange man who found it. But when they get in contact, strange obsessions lead to irrational decisions and actions. Or maybe they're just imagining what could possibly happen.

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Micmacs Trailer


When Bazil is hit in the head by a stray bullet, it's a surprise to everyone that he's survived the freak accident. The doctors manage to save Bazil from death but he's left knowing that death could come knocking at his door anytime soon.

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Micmacs [Micmacs A Tire-larigot] Review


Very Good
Back in Amelie mode, Jeunet creates a wonderfully entertaining romp about a group of outsiders and manages to slip in an extremely subtle political jab amid the wacky slapstick and almost obsessive attention to detail. It's a bit silly, but it's also great fun.

After being shot by an errant bullet, Bazil (Boon) becomes homeless. Taken in by the Micmacs, seven misfits living in a secret lair under a rubbish heap, he discovers that rival Parisian arms dealers manufactured the bullet that hit him and the landmine that killed his father when he was a child. As he plots his revenge, his new friends all want in on the plan, so they set about inventively using their salvage to get the company owners (Dussollier and Marie) to square off against each other.

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Andre Dussollier and Sabine Azema - Andre Dussollier and Sabine Azema Cannes, France - 2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 - 'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky' - Premiere Sunday 24th May 2009

Andre Dussollier and Sabine Azema

Tell No One Review


OK
Sometimes it requires the eyes of a foreigner to make the old new again. In adapting American crime writer Harlan Coben's 2001 novel Tell No One, French filmmaker Guillaume Canet brings a distancing Gallic fracturedness to a straightforward mystery. By doing so, Canet adds layers that probably weren't there in the original story but also puts us at a distance from its more pulp elements, which are left adrift in this calmly-paced homage to Hitchcock's wrong-man scenarios. An odd policier, Tell No One isn't without its rewards, but is also certainly not without problems.

Unfolding with fecund ripeness in a long and languorous day and evening in the French countryside, where some siblings and their respective others share a meal and sharp-edged conversation at the old family house, the film plays with the notion of barely-concealed secrets and a hint of rottenness. When Alex Beck (Francois Cluzet) chases his wife Margot (Marie-Josee Croze) through a forested pathway lined with lushly blooming flowers, the scene is romantic but weighted with death -- it wouldn't surprise you to find out that the soil was so rich due to bodies being buried there. Like the childhood sweethearts they once were, Alex and Margot swim playfully in a small pond and then coil up naked in the warm night air on a floating raft. She goes ashore; there are sounds of a struggle. Alex, panicked, swims for the dock only to get whacked unconscious by an unseen assailant.

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Private Fears In Public Places Review


Excellent
Here's one no one could have seen coming. Alain Resnais, at the stately age of 84, comes back from a life of harrowing Holocaust documentaries and existential meditations to direct a winter-set play adaptation with a modest multi-narrative pull. Swept with snow-flurry transitions and sunken-in rom-com dynamics, Private Fears in Public Places, besides being the filmmaker's best work since 1977's Providence, brings theatrical adaptation to a new level of complexity and imagination.

It all starts with Thierry (the great André Dussollier), a realtor trying to find an apartment for Nicole (Laura Morante) and her contemptible husband Dan (Lambert Wilson). Thierry is harboring yearnings for his secretary Charlotte (Sabine Azéma), whose scattershot persona lends itself both to the religious and the carnal. Charlotte's night-job finds her taking care of the curmudgeonly father of bartender Lionel (Pierre Arditi) while he is serving drinks to Dan and Thierry's sister Gaelle (Isabelle Carre) at a classy hotel bar. All of this is connected by Charlotte's bible, a mysterious videotape of a woman go-go dancing and the search for a perfect apartment.

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Lemming Review


Excellent
The plight and paranoia of young marriage (and adulthood) has found a giddy practitioner in German director Dominik Moll. Moll's second film, With a Friend Like Harry..., took a very direct approach to the idea by using the return of a high school friend as a way to look into the boredom and grind of young parenthood, while also using the friend's sensuous fiancé as a point of catharsis. However simple that may seem, Harry was one of the best films of 2000, and now Moll is back with a much trickier proposition in Lemming.

Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas) has a nice job at an engineering firm where he is designing a new kind of webcam that can help in everyday tasks. His wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) hasn't found a job yet and is still unpacking their things when Alain agrees to allow his boss and his wife to come over for a dinner. His boss, Richard (Andre Dussollier), arrives at the house with a jovial aura but his wife (Charlotte Rampling) has the disposition of a scorpion. That night, they find an injured lemming in their sink pipe. Since a lemming tends to only live in Scandinavia, it freaks Alain out big time. Things don't get any better when the boss' wife commits suicide in the Gettys' house, which prompts Benedicte to take a very strange turn in mood.

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A Very Long Engagement Review


Good
Although there are likely better directors who could have been found to film Sebastien Japrisot's World War I-set novel A Very Long Engagement than Jean-Pierre Jeunet, of City of Lost Children fame and Alien: Resurrection infamy, there are many more who would have been worse - and if that sounds like a backhanded insult, it's not. The story of five French soldiers who are sentenced to death for self-inflicted wounds (done so that they could be evacuated from the front lines) and condemned to march out into the no man's land between the Germans' trenches and theirs, it's a tricky mix of war epic, black comedy, and heart-stirring romance that would have left many filmmakers flummoxed. And although Jeunet takes some serious missteps and doesn't know when to leave the jokes alone, he has mostly succeeded where many would have failed.

Although it starts off like a war film - opening in the muck and mire, as all good war films must - and gives us plenty of reason to understand why these soldiers shot themselves in the hand (a sort of purposeful self-stigmata), A Very Long Engagement is really about a woman trying to find her lost love. The woman, Mathilde, is played by Jeunet's muse, Audrey Tautou, and though she doesn't here have the near-angelic glow he gave her in Amelie, she's plenty captivating nonetheless. Mathilde fell in love with her childhood friend, Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), and we see their romance in flashback, all frolicking in their picturesque village, swooning episodes atop a lighthouse and innocent carnality. Then the war comes, and poor, fresh-faced Manech is sent off to the front, later to be one of the five hurled into no man's land by a callous military bureaucracy determined to make an example of them. After the war, Mathilde refuses to accept what seems obvious to everybody else, that Manech is dead, and she launches on a journey to dig up every last piece of information she can about the case and find out what happened to her one true love.

Continue reading: A Very Long Engagement Review

Andre Dussollier

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Andre Dussollier Movies

Diplomacy Movie Review

Diplomacy Movie Review

Expanded from Cyril Gely's stage play, this film remains finely focussed on a history-changing dialogue...

An Ordinary Execution [une Execution Ordinaire] Movie Review

An Ordinary Execution [une Execution Ordinaire] Movie Review

With a thoughtful and introspective tone, this film continually surprises us as its story unfurls...

WIld Grass [Les Herbes Folles] Movie Review

WIld Grass [Les Herbes Folles] Movie Review

At age 87, director Resnais creates a playful and often infuriating comedy about the impulsive...

Micmacs Trailer

Micmacs Trailer

When Bazil is hit in the head by a stray bullet, it's a surprise to...

Micmacs [Micmacs a Tire-larigot] Movie Review

Micmacs [Micmacs a Tire-larigot] Movie Review

Back in Amelie mode, Jeunet creates a wonderfully entertaining romp about a group of outsiders...

Tell No One Movie Review

Tell No One Movie Review

Sometimes it requires the eyes of a foreigner to make the old new again. In...

Private Fears in Public Places Movie Review

Private Fears in Public Places Movie Review

Here's one no one could have seen coming. Alain Resnais, at the stately age of...

A Very Long Engagement Movie Review

A Very Long Engagement Movie Review

Although there are likely better directors who could have been found to film Sebastien Japrisot's...

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