Claire Maurier

Claire Maurier

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My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete En Friche] Review


Extraordinary
Small but perfectly formed, this unassuming French comedy is smart, emotionally engaging and often very funny. Essentially a coming-of-age story about a seemingly dopey middle-aged man, it's also a real charmer.For his whole life, Germain (Depardieu) has been told by his drama-queen mother (Maurier) that he's an idiot. So he has lived up to her expectations. But neighbours in his village loves his kind but bumbling ways. He spends each day at a cafe owned by his friend Francine (Maurane), getting involved in everyone's business. His bus-driver girlfriend (Guillemin) sees his better qualities, and so does Margueritte (Casadesus), a 95-year-old he meets in the park who, while reading books with him, quietly helps him see who he really is.The filmmakers occasionally give us flickers of Germain's past, with his dismissive young mother (Le Guernec) only very rarely showing any concern for his well-being. These scenes subtly fill in his back-story as we watch this fully grown (perhaps even overgrown) man explore his own intellect in a way he never thought possible. And the most interesting thing is that he doesn't seem to realise he's learning anything; he's just enjoying the rush of curiosity.Depardieu's acting is so offhanded that it seems like he isn't acting at all.

Then we remember that he has also recently played vicious, mercurial gangsters.

On the other hand, this is a beautiful depiction of a simple man who is beginning to understand his own complexities as well as some deep truths about those around him. Without ever being flashy, it's an impeccably pure performance. And the supporting cast members interact with him using raw humour and lively energy.

Continue reading: My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete En Friche] Review

The 400 Blows Review


Essential
1959's Les Quatre cents coups, known in translation as The 400 Blows, birthed the French New Wave. It's also one of the 20 finest films ever made. Easy.

Sure, Citizen Kane. Yes, The Bicycle Thief. Heck, The Wild Bunch. They are all classics, all bound to be on the top of every critic's supreme film list. And regular people actually watch those. But The 400 Blows is almost always shuffled to the bottom. Among cineastes it's championed by rarely seen. Go to your local Blockbuster and ask the resident film nerd employed there if they've seen The 400 Blows. Seriously, give it a try. They'll usually say, Yeah, that's a brilliant movie. Amazing. I haven't seen it but sure I heard it's incredible. A must see. Ask your uncle, the one who's always going on and on about how people don't "get" cinema anymore. He'll say, Yeah, that's a brilliant movie. Been meaning to see it for years.

Continue reading: The 400 Blows Review

The 400 Blows Review


Essential
1959's Les Quatre cents coups, known in translation as The 400 Blows, birthed the French New Wave. It's also one of the 20 finest films ever made. Easy.

Sure, Citizen Kane. Yes, The Bicycle Thief. Heck, The Wild Bunch. They are all classics, all bound to be on the top of every critic's supreme film list. And regular people actually watch those. But The 400 Blows is almost always shuffled to the bottom. Among cineastes it's championed by rarely seen. Go to your local Blockbuster and ask the resident film nerd employed there if they've seen The 400 Blows. Seriously, give it a try. They'll usually say, Yeah, that's a brilliant movie. Amazing. I haven't seen it but sure I heard it's incredible. A must see. Ask your uncle, the one who's always going on and on about how people don't "get" cinema anymore. He'll say, Yeah, that's a brilliant movie. Been meaning to see it for years.

Continue reading: The 400 Blows Review

Claire Maurier

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Claire Maurier Movies

My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete en Friche] Movie Review

My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete en Friche] Movie Review

Small but perfectly formed, this unassuming French comedy is smart, emotionally engaging and often very...

The 400 Blows Movie Review

The 400 Blows Movie Review

1959's Les Quatre cents coups, known in translation as The 400 Blows, birthed the French...

The 400 Blows Movie Review

The 400 Blows Movie Review

1959's Les Quatre cents coups, known in translation as The 400 Blows, birthed the French...

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