Daniel Duval

Daniel Duval

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Beautiful Lies Review


Very Good
Tautou reteams with her Priceless director Salvadori for another charming romantic comedy that plays with the stereotypical structure. Sure, we know exactly how it has to end, but getting there is thoroughly enjoyable.

Emilie (Tautou) runs a beauty salon with her friend Sylvia (Lagarde), but neither knows that their handyman Jean (Bouajila) has a crush on Emilie, who's intimidated by the fact that Jean used to work for the UN. When she receives an anonymous love letter, which she doesn't realise was written by Jean, she forwards it to perk up her lonely mother Maddy (Baye). But Maddy develops a correspondence with her "mystery lover" and eventually traces the letters back to Jean. So Emilie asks him to play along. Of course, he's not happy about this.

Continue reading: Beautiful Lies Review

District 13: Ultimatum [banlieue 13: Ultimatum] Review


Very Good
Luc Besson and pals are back with another crazed action movie that, despite its ludicrous plotting, keeps us entertained with sheer energy and wit. And the central duo is turning into a pretty good movie team.

It's been three years since the super-fit cop Damien (Raffaelli) teamed up with the shady, athletic Leito (Belle) to bring the government to its knees.

Predictably, nothing has changed since then and in 2013, France's new president (Torreton) is convinced to take drastic actions against the violent thugs in District 13. Except that the whole scenario has been staged by the secret security service, led by the mysterious Gassman (Duval) and his top goon Roland (Mosconi), who try to do away with Damien and Leito (as if!), in order to enact their evil plan.

Continue reading: District 13: Ultimatum [banlieue 13: Ultimatum] Review

The Grocer's Son Review


Excellent
A laid-back French love story starring two great-looking young actors that unspools against the gorgeous backdrop of the Provencal countryside... what's not to like? The Grocer's Son is a low-key family drama that takes you away and offers a look not only at the dissolution of one troubled family but also the dissolution of an entire rural way of life as the old folks who've stayed behind in the villages start to die off.

Thirty-year-old Antoine (the very charismatic Nicolas Cazalé) left his family (and his issues with them) and their hilltop general store 10 years ago for the bright lights of the big city and comes back only when his father (Daniel Duval) suffers a massive heart attack and his mother (Jeanne Goupil) needs immediate help. His brother François (Stéphan Guérin-Tillié), the town hairdresser, has always stuck around, a fact that breeds resentment between the brothers. Sullen Antoine can barely stand to be in the same room his father, but he agrees to take over the family's mobile grocery van until Dad recovers. Their vitriolic disrespect for each other is hard to watch.

Continue reading: The Grocer's Son Review

Caché Review


OK
A low-rent setup for two penthouse-level thespians, Michael Haneke's Caché is somehow rigorous yet formless, absolutely exacting in its procedure, yet seemingly bereft of intent and meaning, scrupulously acted for not much reason at all. Derived from the same nervous Parisian bourgeois milieu as writer/director Haneke's Code Unknown but quite a bit more tightly-packed, it's a thriller wrapped inside a moral lesson and presented with the glassy omnipotence of the true voyeur.

The story owes a debt on some level to that greatest of cinematic voyeurs, Hitchcock, whose corpulent presence seems constantly in the filmmaker's mind. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil plays Anne and Georges Laurent, a perfectly respectable married example of the modern Paris intelligentsia. She works for a publisher where she can set her own hours, while he hosts a literary TV talk show. They have a nice little flat and a nice son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). This is all filled in later, however, as the first thing we see is a static shot of the Laurent household which turns out to be a videotape Anne and Georges are watching which had been left on their doorstep with no explanation. Someone simply set up a videocamera across from their flat and filmed it for hours on end. Things escalate, of course, with tapes mysteriously appearing, soon with childlike drawings attached, of a face spitting blood, a chicken getting its head cut off. Someone starts calling for Georges, sending the tapes to his work, sending the notes to Pierrot at school. And there is no demand, no message, no anything but the constant surveillance and the feeling (soon proven) that the watcher knows more than the Laurents would like about themselves and their past, especially Georges'.

Continue reading: Caché Review

Time To Leave Review


Excellent
Leave it to fascinating French writer/director François Ozon to take one of the most tired movie cliches of all time -- "I'm sorry, but you only have a few months to live." -- and turn into to a totally fresh look at what it truly means to live. Time to Leave shows how the final months of handsome 31-year-old gay fashion photographer Romain (Melvil Poupaud) turn out to be both the worst and the best of his life.

Handed his death sentence by his doctor, Romain chooses to let his cancer kill him rather than suffer through the indignities of debilitating treatment that even the doctor admits has only a five percent chance of working. But now what? Romain's first instinct is to push everyone away in order to protect them from the pain of watching him die. Always prickly with his family, who have struggled with his homosexuality, a family dinner he attends turns positively toxic when Romain insults his fragile mother (Marie Rivière) and father (Daniel Duval) and calls his sister (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) a bad mother. When his father drives him home, Romain asks him, "Do I frighten you?" Dad replies, "Yes, sometimes." Through all this, Romain has forgotten to tell them his big news.

Continue reading: Time To Leave Review

Caché Review


OK
A low-rent setup for two penthouse-level thespians, Michael Haneke's Caché is somehow rigorous yet formless, absolutely exacting in its procedure, yet seemingly bereft of intent and meaning, scrupulously acted for not much reason at all. Derived from the same nervous Parisian bourgeois milieu as writer/director Haneke's Code Unknown but quite a bit more tightly-packed, it's a thriller wrapped inside a moral lesson and presented with the glassy omnipotence of the true voyeur.

The story owes a debt on some level to that greatest of cinematic voyeurs, Hitchcock, whose corpulent presence seems constantly in the filmmaker's mind. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil plays Anne and Georges Laurent, a perfectly respectable married example of the modern Paris intelligentsia. She works for a publisher where she can set her own hours, while he hosts a literary TV talk show. They have a nice little flat and a nice son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky). This is all filled in later, however, as the first thing we see is a static shot of the Laurent household which turns out to be a videotape Anne and Georges are watching which had been left on their doorstep with no explanation. Someone simply set up a videocamera across from their flat and filmed it for hours on end. Things escalate, of course, with tapes mysteriously appearing, soon with childlike drawings attached, of a face spitting blood, a chicken getting its head cut off. Someone starts calling for Georges, sending the tapes to his work, sending the notes to Pierrot at school. And there is no demand, no message, no anything but the constant surveillance and the feeling (soon proven) that the watcher knows more than the Laurents would like about themselves and their past, especially Georges'.

Continue reading: Caché Review

Daniel Duval

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Daniel Duval Movies

Beautiful Lies Movie Review

Beautiful Lies Movie Review

Tautou reteams with her Priceless director Salvadori for another charming romantic comedy that plays with...

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Time to Leave Movie Review

Time to Leave Movie Review

Leave it to fascinating French writer/director François Ozon to take one of the most tired...

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