Emmanuel Bourdieu

Emmanuel Bourdieu

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A Christmas Tale Review


Extraordinary
French director Arnaud Desplechin returns to the U.S. three years after his last domestically distributed picture, Kings & Queen, bearing a gift of another sort in A Christmas Tale. Seeing release approximately a month before the titular holiday, like some Black Friday extravaganza, Desplechin packs all manner of cinematic devices, narrative theatrics, and filmic vernacular into this work of unimaginable generosity.

Only a few days before the sugar plums and wassail are set on the table, Junon Vuillard (Catherine Deneuve), the grand matriarch of a family of lunatics, is diagnosed with a serious case of lymphoma, the same disease that already claimed her eldest son Joseph. The film opens with her husband Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) mourning over his son with a startlingly breezy candor. Employing shadow puppets, the lineage of the Vuillard family in its current incarnation is explained, leading to Ivan (Melvil Poupad), the youngest of Junon's children.

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Esther Kahn Review


OK
They say that even the most accomplished actor still has something to prove, that no matter how much adoration he might receive, there is always some sacrosanct person or place where the performer turns to face critical judgment. Esther Kahn, directed by Arnaud Desplechin, is the story of a young actress who battles those harsh demons in order to achieve a sense of accomplishment.

Raised in tenement housing in late-19th century London and forced to live the suppressed life of a sweatshop laborer in a Jewish slum, Esther Kahn (Summer Phoenix) uses the theater as an escape from the harsh realities of everyday life. As a child, her brother and sisters find her awkward because of her abnormal silence and infatuation with the low-budget Yiddish performances put on by the local neighborhood troupes. As the family outcast, she internalizes all the loathing she receives from her mother (Frances Barber) and family, which leads to a desperate search for her place in the world.

Continue reading: Esther Kahn Review

Emmanuel Bourdieu

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Emmanuel Bourdieu Movies

A Christmas Tale Movie Review

A Christmas Tale Movie Review

French director Arnaud Desplechin returns to the U.S. three years after his last domestically distributed...

Esther Kahn Movie Review

Esther Kahn Movie Review

They say that even the most accomplished actor still has something to prove, that no...

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