Claudie Ossard

Claudie Ossard

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In The House [Dans La Maison] Review


Excellent

With Ozon's usual sharp writing and direction, this black comedy is a fabulous series of provocations, challenging us to explore how we see, or perhaps imagine, the people in our lives. It's also a playful exploration of the nature of storytelling itself, using a teacher-student relationship to reveal all kinds of uncomfortable truths.

The teacher and student in question are Germain (Luchini), who's tired of teaching literature to illiterate students, and shy 16-year-old Claude (Umhauer), a gifted young writer. His essays spark Germain's imagination because they continue on from each other to serialise his encounters with the family of his friend Rapha (Ughetto). As Claude writes about flirting with Rapha's mum (Sagnier) or becoming pals with his dad (Menochet), Germain becomes gripped by the story. And so does his wife Jeanne (Scott Thomas), who sees this as a wonderful escape from the mundane pressures in her life. But in a private tutoring session with Claude, Germain crosses an ethical line. And things start to get strange.

Writer-director Ozon is wickedly blurring the line between fact and fiction, as everyone who reads Claude's essays imagines the people in ways that fuel their own fantasies. So events unfold through a variety of perspectives, some of which must surely be imagined, especially as Germain and Claude adjust the characters to reveal hidden secrets. Yes, this brings out the voyeuristic tendencies in all of the characters, and in us as well, since we too are living vicariously through people whose lives seem so much more interesting than ours. Even if they are supposed to be us.

Continue reading: In The House [Dans La Maison] Review

Le Refuge Review


Very Good
Ozon is back in sensitive-drama mode for this almost subliminal personal story of a young woman trying to piece together the fragments of her life and understand her conflicting expectations and desires. But it's not easy to get a grip on.

In a posh Paris apartment, Louis and Mousse (Poupaud and Carre) live in squalor, addicted to heroin. They overdose, end up in hospital and, when Mousse wakes up, her doctor surprises her with the news that she's eight weeks pregnant and alone. Louis' mother (Vernet) blames her for everything, so Mousse escapes to an isolated house on the coast. She's joined there by Louis' more sympathetic brother Paul (Choisy). And even though she knows that he's gay, she starts falling for him. Even when he hooks up with someone else (Louis-Calixte).

Continue reading: Le Refuge Review

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky Review


Good
This impeccably made movie tells another chapter in the life of the famed designer with enough awkward, real-life details to make it thoroughly believable. If only the film didn't feel so plodding.

In 1920, seven years after the disastrous Paris premiere of The Rites of Spring, composer Igor Stravinsky (Mikkelsen) meets one of his biggest fans, now-successful Coco Chanel (Mouglalis). As he's living and working in a tiny flat with his wife Katia (Morozova) and four kids, Coco invites them to stay in her gorgeous villa outside the city. And as he works on music and she tries to create a perfume, their torrid affair is hardly a secret. The question is how long Katia, who's suffering from tuberculosis, will stick around.

Continue reading: Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky Review

Arizona Dream Review


Excellent
This bizarro cult film from director Emir Kusturica (best known for Underground) is impossible to describe -- but it starts with a vignette about an Eskimo, zips to New York, and takes Johnny Depp to Arizona to meet his uncle (Jerry Lewis), where he becomes a car salesman before hooking up with a kooky older woman (Faye Dunaway) who lives in the desert with her suicidal stepdaughter (Lili Taylor). What's it all about? Love, employment, dreams, the surreal, traveling, psychic connections... David Lynch, you've got a target on your back. Compelling and strange, worth seeking out if you can find it (which ain't easy).

Delicatessen Review


Excellent
Before Jean-Pierre Jeunet became the critics' darling with this whimsical romance Amelie, he was known to geek film aficionados the world over for crafting one of the early '90s most audacious and thrilling cult sleepers, Delicatessen.

It's really quite shameful that the majority of Americans who enjoy Amelie and Jeunet's ill-fated follow up, the overlong but beautiful and quirky A Very Long Engagement, know nothing of Delicatessen. While Alien fans scoffed at Jeunet's wicked retooling of the franchise with Alien:Alien: Resurrection, it was but a pale shadow of his early, dark work with his co-collaborator and muse, Marc Caro.

Continue reading: Delicatessen Review

Delicatessen Review


Excellent
Before Jean-Pierre Jeunet became the critics' darling with this whimsical romance Amelie, he was known to geek film aficionados the world over for crafting one of the early '90s most audacious and thrilling cult sleepers, Delicatessen.

It's really quite shameful that the majority of Americans who enjoy Amelie and Jeunet's ill-fated follow up, the overlong but beautiful and quirky A Very Long Engagement, know nothing of Delicatessen. While Alien fans scoffed at Jeunet's wicked retooling of the franchise with Alien:Alien: Resurrection, it was but a pale shadow of his early, dark work with his co-collaborator and muse, Marc Caro.

Continue reading: Delicatessen Review

The City Of Lost Children Review


Very Good
The long-awaited follow-up to Delicatessen is another surrealist adventure into the questionably sane minds of French creators Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. It's been four years since that film, and their new picture, The City of Lost Children, is twice as strange and almost as good.

A twist on the typical fairy tale, The City of Lost Children is the story of an evil genius named Krank (Daniel Emilfork) and his henchmen of mechanically-enhanced Cyclops, six identical Clones (all played by Dominique Pinon), the tiny and bossy Miss Bismuth (Mireille Mosse), and a disembodied brain (voiced by Jean-Louis Trintignant) which provides the philosophical foundation for the group. The band of genetically-engineered characters live on a man-made island off shores of a coastal city, and it is from this city that Krank's thugs kidnap children. Why? Because Krank is unable to dream, he attempts to steal them from the children's minds.

Continue reading: The City Of Lost Children Review

Betty Blue Review


Very Good
Betty... Betty's got issues. Loads of them. So many issues that they made a movie about her that runs over three hours long.

As Betty, Béatrice Dalle makes her screen debut, taking on the role of a young and brazen twentysomething that's clearly -- painfully -- stricken with some mental illness and probably more than one. As we meet her, she's visiting her new boyfriend Zorg (excellent name), played by Jean-Hugues Anglade, and much of their three hours on camera is filled with various forms of foreplay, sex, and afterplay, with Betty spending the intervening hours in various stages of undress.

Continue reading: Betty Blue Review

Amelie Review


Essential
After only a few films have I been left with an indelible sense of wonder and amazement. After watching the stunning and beautiful Amelie, I've been struck again. This is truly a touching, honest, emotional roller coaster ride, equipped with powerful but subtle scenes of unrequited love, comfortable loneliness, visual wonder, imaginary worlds, and phantom characters guarding the hearts and souls of their mental caretakers.

Amelie delivers the goods on all levels, with crafty storytelling, superb acting, and clever directing. The film follows the exploits of the young Amelie (Audrey Tautou), a shy, introverted girl with a dysfunctional past who lives alone in a small apartment in Paris. Amelie spends her days working at a local Parisian café, pines for the love of a strange boy who stalks the instant-photo booths of the Metro, and silently observes the lives of her neighbors.

Continue reading: Amelie Review

Arizona Dream Review


Excellent
This bizarro cult film from director Emir Kusturica (best known for Underground) is impossible to describe -- but it starts with a vignette about an Eskimo, zips to New York, and takes Johnny Depp to Arizona to meet his uncle (Jerry Lewis), where he becomes a car salesman before hooking up with a kooky older woman (Faye Dunaway) who lives in the desert with her suicidal stepdaughter (Lili Taylor). What's it all about? Love, employment, dreams, the surreal, traveling, psychic connections... David Lynch, you've got a target on your back. Compelling and strange, worth seeking out if you can find it (which ain't easy).
Claudie Ossard

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Claudie Ossard Movies

In the House [Dans la Maison] Movie Review

In the House [Dans la Maison] Movie Review

With Ozon's usual sharp writing and direction, this black comedy is a fabulous series of...

Le Refuge Movie Review

Le Refuge Movie Review

Ozon is back in sensitive-drama mode for this almost subliminal personal story of a young...

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky Movie Review

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky Movie Review

This impeccably made movie tells another chapter in the life of the famed designer with...

Delicatessen Movie Review

Delicatessen Movie Review

Before Jean-Pierre Jeunet became the critics' darling with this whimsical romance Amelie, he was known...

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Delicatessen Movie Review

Delicatessen Movie Review

Before Jean-Pierre Jeunet became the critics' darling with this whimsical romance Amelie, he was known...

Amelie Movie Review

Amelie Movie Review

After only a few films have I been left with an indelible sense of wonder...

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