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Alias Betty Review


Excellent
You're a famous novelist and your son dies tragically. What does your chemically iffy mother do? She kidnaps a lookalike baby and gives him to you.

Such is the premise of Alias Betty, a curiously titled film that digs far deeper into questions about the appropriateness of parents and the definition of insanity -- all while deftly avoiding a drop into movie of the week territory.

Continue reading: Alias Betty Review

L'Effrontée Review


OK
I'm not sure that L'Effrontée is wrong -- but I'm pretty sure it ain't right.

Made in 1985, Claude Miller's film focuses on a bratty girl (Charlotte Gainsbourg, only 14 at the time) wasting away a month after school is out and before she goes on summer holiday. Charlotte becomes obsessed with a child piano prodigy and through a ridiculous coincidence, ends up encountering her en route to getting her piano stool repaired. Charlotte then hangs around the metal shop in order to try to get closer to Clara, the prodigy, and hopefully spend her holiday with the young girl.

Continue reading: L'Effrontée Review

La Petite Lili Review


Good
Claude Miller isn't the only guy who's drooled over Ludivine Sagnier's nude body, but he's the first to title his movie after her character.

In this adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, Sagnier gets fourth billing, yet the title would indicate she's center stage. Well, in a way, she is. Without her zombified, dazed expression and bimbo haircut, Sagnier provides the sexual energy that makes this story work at all: She's the central cog in a love quadrangle, which involves an aging actress, her old director of a beau, a young upstart director, and of course, Lili. The older couple and the younger couple drift apart because of the old man's wandering eye -- and who can blame him? And Lili sees a career boost in the old man, whereas the young director (Robinson Stévenin) is still working through his experimental -- and awful -- phase of filmmaking.

Continue reading: La Petite Lili Review

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