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Andre Techine - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival -"L'Homme Qu'On Aimait Trop"- Photocall - Cannes, France - Tuesday 20th May 2014

Andre Techine
Andre Techine

The Girl On The Train [La Fille Du RER] Review


Excellent
This understated drama really gets under the skin through vivid characters and situations. Finely skilled direction and acting makes it vividly real, like an extremely low-key thriller that grabs hold and won't let go.

Skater girl Jeanne (Dequenne) lives in a Paris suburb with her helpful mum Louise (Deneuve). When meets another skater, Franck (Duvauchelle), their romance develops quickly. And she decides to move in with him rather than take an offered job as a secretary for a legal firm headed by Samuel (Blanc), a renowned specialist in cases involving anti-Semitic violence who has a past connection with Jeanne's parents. But when things go wrong she does something that has severe consequences.

Continue reading: The Girl On The Train [La Fille Du RER] Review

The Witnesses Review


Weak
Lost somewhere in André Téchiné's The Witnesses, a rather bewildered Emmanuelle Beart plays the part of Sarah, a frustrated children's book author with a new baby she doesn't really understand. Although the other main characters are only known to each other through her, she seems merely female window dressing for most of this men's film. Of much more import to the filmmaker are the activities of one Manu (Johan Libereau), a rather rudderless young man who's caught the eye of a doctor out cruising one fateful summer night in a Paris park. Because of that one inexplicable attraction in the summer of 1984 (rather portentously titled here "Happy Days"), we get a rather desultory melodrama about a love quadrangle during the start of the AIDS epidemic in France. And all the while, Sarah keeps writing in the sad expectation that somebody in the film will care.

No such luck. Manu is the story's free spirit and for a good while the only character the script seems much interested in. He's the animating force that's keeping the doctor, Adrien (the sharp, excellent Michel Blanc), going through the motions of his rather sad routine life. As much as Adrien wants romance from the substantially younger Manu, the feelings aren't reciprocated, and he confides his frustration to his good friend Sarah. That's when Manu starts hanging around, and Sarah's husband Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), starts to like what he sees...

Continue reading: The Witnesses Review

Changing Times Review


Very Good
A man is buried under a heap of mud and dirt within the first five minutes of Andre Techine's Changing Times. It's not quite a mudslide since it's not on any sort of angle, but it piles on a man until a group of workers have to dive into the hole to dig him out. Not surprisingly, this event punctuates the subdued surreal nature of the film.

Antoine (Gérard Depardieu) has a nice job. He oversees construction for a company who builds media centers all over the world, using his skills as an engineer and a negotiator to keep projects rolling. These skills were not used to his advantage earlier in his life when he dated Cécile (Catherine Deneuve), who now makes her living as a radio show host and a wife to Nathan (Gilbert Melki), a renowned doctor. Fate, as it tends to do, intervenes (interferes) and sends Antoine to Tangiers, where Cécile lives. At the same time, Cécile and Nathan's son Sami (Malik Zidi) and his partner Nadia (Lubna Azabal) come home for vacation time. By vacation, they actually mean for Sami to visit his secret boyfriend and for Nadia to visit her sister, Aïcha (Lubna again). The film mainly pivots on Antoine's quest to get Cécile back, which begins as gazing from afar and eventually becomes family interaction.

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Strayed Review


Good
Strayed is set in World War II during the German occupation of France. The setup is simple; a woman named Odile (Emmanuelle Béart), along with her two children, escapes a convoy that has been air attacked by German airplanes. They spend the night in the forest and the next day meet a teenager named Yvon (Gaspard Ulliel), who takes them to safety.

Yvon, who is on the run from both the Germans and the French, takes the family to an abandoned country chateau, which he has broken into. Over the course of a few weeks they begin to live in the chateau as a makeshift family. Yvon befriends Odile's son (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) and - much to the chagrin of Odile - becomes a father figure to the boy. And in time - even though Odile is Yvan's senior by many years - they both fall for each other.

Continue reading: Strayed Review

Rendez-vous Review


Good
Good news for you pervs out there: Juliette Binoche spends virtually the entirety of Rendez-vous buck naked, usually begging for sex from one of two men she's just met. At 20 years old, she may look like a teenage boy, but hey, that's the price of gratuitous nudity.

Rendez-vous begins with aspiring actress Nina (Binoche) fresh off the boat in Paris, where she immediately falls into bed with both real estate clerk Paulot (Wadeck Stanczak) and his in-your-face roommate Quentin (Lambert Wilson). Soon enough, secrecy is put aside and the whole affair becomes a messy conflagration of emotion and raw sexuality.

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Alice Et Martin Review


Bad
Everything that's wrong with French cinema is on display in Alice et Martin, a daring title for a film that, when translated, means... Alice and Martin. Martin is a troubled young French man (Alexis Loret) who runs away from country home, steals fruit and eggs along the way, and ends up in Paris, where of course he instantly becomes a male model. Here he meets musician Alice (Juliette Binoche), and soon enough she's pregnant. Then he goes nuts.

I didn't understand any of this, and I don't expect anyone else to, either. That is, unless you have a psychic connection with the screenwriter. There are long shots of the countryside, slow-motion shots of waves, and an old man falling down the stairs. What does it all mean? Hell if I know. Something about love, obsession, relationships? I know a lot of crazy people, and none of them act like this.

Continue reading: Alice Et Martin Review

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Andre Techine Movies

The Girl on the Train [La Fille du RER] Movie Review

The Girl on the Train [La Fille du RER] Movie Review

This understated drama really gets under the skin through vivid characters and situations. Finely skilled...

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Strayed Movie Review

Strayed Movie Review

Strayed is set in World War II during the German occupation of France. The setup...

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