Bernard Le Coq

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Van Gogh Review


Very Good
Would you believe that Vincent Van Gogh, the character, has appeared in at least 40 movies and TV shows? He's been played by everyone ranging from Kirk Douglas to Andy Dick.

This time out it's French singer-composer-actor Jacques Dutronc's turn to play the troubled master artist, recreating the final two months of Van Gogh's life, a feat which earned him the Cesar Award.

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The Bridesmaid Review


Good
At first glance, she doesn't seem like much -- maybe it's the dress. When Philippe (Benoit Magimel) -- the slim, self-satisfied, smart-but-stupid chump in Claude Chabrol's psycho-drama The Bridesmaid -- sees Senta (Laura Smet), a bridesmaid at his sister's wedding, he's intrigued by something in her direct stare and later, flirty brush-off. However, when Senta appears unannounced at the door of his mother's home (where Philippe, a mama's boy practically smothered by her constant compliments) a few hours later and then proceeds to strip off the wet dress and have her reckless way with him, he becomes positively interested. When later she starts in with all that talk about how they're fated for each other and, hey, what if they each committed a murder to prove their love, he remains interested because, well, he doesn't have much else going on in his life.

In Smet and Magimel, Chabrol has found willing partners for his bleak little tale -- like the director, they keep things under wraps, playing things close to the vest, which is harder than it may sound, given the high drama plot, taken from a Ruth Rendell novel. Philippe is a cipher straight from a detective story of years past, working as a numbers guy for a contractor in a small French town, he's completely bottled up inside his trim suits and slightly superior demeanor, just aching for something to come along and bust things up. After easing us into Philippe's life with some minor melodrama involving the three women in Philippe's house (mother, two sisters), Chabrol drops Senta in to knock Philippe out of his rut, and she's perfect for the job.

Continue reading: The Bridesmaid Review

Nearest To Heaven Review


OK
"Reinventions" rarely work this way. Normally, when a filmmaker gets an idea to reimagine a movie, they do it with a modern flair, a younger cast, and a hip soundtrack. Rarely does a filmmaker take an old standard classic and remake it with actors in their fifties -- and in French.

The strange update of An Affair to Remember goes like this: A dazed and neurotic French woman named Fanette (Catherine Deneuve) is so obsessed with Affair that she sneaks into the movie theater constantly to see it. (You can still see An Affair to Remember in Paris theaters?) An old flame resurfaces -- she thinks -- and a mysterious note arrives suggesting she meet him in three days at the top of the Empire State Building, just like in Affair!

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The Flower Of Evil Review


Weak
Cranking out a movie a year, Claude Chabrol is having a serious case of Woody Allen syndrome. The best thing Woody could do right now is take a break for a few years to recharge his batteries. As for Chabrol, he's been kicking around the same stately, even-handed, vaguely perverse thrillers for about 30 years (and none of his popular works ever got as good as his nasty 1969 psychodrama Le Boucher). He once again sets a moderately pleasing ambiance, in an upscale house in France's Bordeaux region, where a family keeps closely guarded secrets. As the secrets gradually come to light, one becomes aware that Chabrol is a mechanical storyteller more than an emotional one. One comes to doubt his economy of cinematic language as the last refuge of the detached and unemotional.

But The Flower of Evil remains pleasing to watch, mostly because of an attractive cast. Francois (Benoît Magimel) returns home to father Gérard (Bernard Le Coq) and stepmother Anne (Nathalie Baye). It's not long before he's set his eyes on stepsister Michèle (Mélanie Doutey), and they try to keep a lid on their boiling-over passions. They don't want skeletons coming out of the closet during Anne's mayoral campaign. But not everyone sees it that way: A telegram arrives with insidious content, and the family worries that more secrets will come out that will make their children's tête-à-tête seem minor in comparison. Enlisting their clever Aunt Line (a delightful Suzanne Flon), the children attempt to protect themselves and, if possible, cause trouble for the hateful, lustful, blandly disgusting Gérard.

Continue reading: The Flower Of Evil Review

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Bernard Le Coq Movies

The Bridesmaid Movie Review

The Bridesmaid Movie Review

At first glance, she doesn't seem like much -- maybe it's the dress. When Philippe...

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