Anne Fontaine

Anne Fontaine

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Gemma Bovery Trailer


Martin Joubert is a French baker living in Normandy who has a deep passion for the writer Gustave Flaubert and his masterpiece novel 'Madame Bovary', which takes place in the same town in which he lives. Soon he meets an English couple who have moved over to France to begin a new life, and of course their names are Charlie and Gemma Bovery. Joubert immediately senses oncoming disaster, especially when he notices problems in the couple's relationship. Gemma is an artist who, upon her arrival, is enlisted to help another English couple with some design work, and as fate would have it they introduce her to Patrick - who happens to be her former lover. Joubert watches as Gemma and Patrick begin an illicit affair and predicts that this is another story that's bound to end in tragedy, no matter what he does to try and stop it.

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2015 COLCOA French Film Festival Consulat Reception

Anne Fontaine - 2015 COLCOA French Film Festival Consulat Reception at French Consul Residence - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Thursday 23rd April 2015

Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine and Ian Gozlan
Anne Fontaine and Ian Gozlan

New York premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' presented by Chanel at the Paris Theatre - Arrivals

Anne Fontaine, Alessandro Nivola and Audrey Tautou - Anne Fontaine, Alessandro Nivola and Audrey Tautou New York City, USA - New York premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' presented by Chanel at the Paris Theatre - Arrivals Tuesday 15th September 2009

Los Angeles premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' held at the Pacific design center - Silver Screen theatre

Anne Fontaine and Audrey Tautou - Anne Fontaine, Audrey Tautou Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' held at the Pacific design center - Silver Screen theatre Wednesday 9th September 2009

Anne Fontaine and Audrey Tautou
Anne Fontaine and Audrey Tautou
Anne Fontaine and Audrey Tautou

Los Angeles premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' held at the Pacific design center - Silver Screen theatre

Anne Fontaine Wednesday 9th September 2009 Los Angeles premiere of 'Coco Before Chanel' held at the Pacific design center - Silver Screen theatre Los Angeles, California

Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine
Anne Fontaine

Coco Before Chanel Review


Good
This biopic kind of dwells on the misery in Coco Chanel's life, but it's a strong story of a woman who made her own way against all odds. And it's skilfully and beautifully filmed and acted.

After her mother died in 1895, Gabrielle Chanel (Cohen) moves into orphanage, where nuns teach her how to sew. As soon as she's 18 (now Tautou), she becomes a bar singer with her sister (Gillain) and is dubbed "Coco" after her signature song. Even now she's rebelling against the constricting clothes of the day, and when she becomes the mistress of the wealthy Etienne Balsan (Poelvoorde), she has clear ideas about her own life. What she doesn't expect is that she'll fall for his friend Boy Capel (Nivola).

Director-cowriter Fontaine tells this story like Chanel's fashion style: elegant and detailed, but without frills. The film takes us through these early years in a somewhat dispassionate way, only drawing emotion from Tautou's mesmerising performance. She conveys a sharp, opinionated intelligence even as Coco knows her place in society. And as she quietly evolves to the moment she becomes the Coco we remember, Tautou keeps the character consistently engaging without sacrificing any of her inner toughness.

Fontaine doesn't shrink from portraying this male-dominated society: men treated women like possessions. So Coco was a true revolutionary, going against the grain to become the first major female designer. Fontaine makes sure the period detail is sleek and gorgeously recreated, with actors who aren't afraid to show the dark sides of their characters. There are moments of levity, but powerful scenes between Tautou, Poelvoorde and Gillain reveal a shadowy complexity.

The problem is that the film feels a bit gloomy as a result; Coco seems melancholic even when she's smiling. And this carries through to the limited colour scheme, as well as Coco's simple clothing in a time when women wore outrageous frills. But watching closely, we can see Coco in control of her life, even though the men around her thought she was theirs. And into this world, Nivola's Boy is a breath of fresh air, a rare man who can see her for who she is. So where their story goes can't help but move us.

Coco Before Chanel Trailer


Watch the trailer for Coco Before Chanel

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Nathalie Review


OK
In Anne Fontaine's Nathalie, we're barely treated to the cozy spectacle of Parisian bourgeois respectability of married couple Bernard (Gérard Depardieu) and Catherine (Fanny Ardant) - he's a well-off businessman of some kind, she's a doctor, they move in comfortable circles - before it gets broken up by Catherine's discovery that Bernard has been having an affair. Of course, this is a French film, so when Catherine tells her mother about Bernard's serial philandering, she responds only, "What a nuisance." One can be forgiven for thinking that, even taking into account the Gallic factor, Catherine's mother lacks in the empathy department.

What makes Nathalie different than your run of the mill tale of infidelity is what Catherine decides to do after receiving this news. She frets a bit about her husband, but instead of tossing him out or simply shrugging and getting on with things, she's left uneasy, pining with curiosity. Fortunately, there's a house of ill repute just around the corner from her office, so Catherine decides to do a little field research on what makes men do these sorts of things. Popping into the "private club," all tacky red décor and overly made-up girls, Catherine drinks whiskey straight and gets to know the prettiest girl in the joint, Marlène (Emmanuelle Béart).

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Dry Cleaning Review


Weak
Two married French sticks-in-the-mud try to keep a dry cleaning business running while their lives degenerate into a boring daily grind. To spice things up, they decide to check out a brother-sister drag show, only to inexplicably get caught up in a kind of threesome with the male counterpart. Far less interesting than its subject matter would suggest, Dry Cleaning is scarcely more enthralling than its title. (Also of note: the subtitling is pathetic.)

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Anne Fontaine

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