Gilles Marchand

Gilles Marchand

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Lemming Review


Excellent
The plight and paranoia of young marriage (and adulthood) has found a giddy practitioner in German director Dominik Moll. Moll's second film, With a Friend Like Harry..., took a very direct approach to the idea by using the return of a high school friend as a way to look into the boredom and grind of young parenthood, while also using the friend's sensuous fiancé as a point of catharsis. However simple that may seem, Harry was one of the best films of 2000, and now Moll is back with a much trickier proposition in Lemming.

Alain Getty (Laurent Lucas) has a nice job at an engineering firm where he is designing a new kind of webcam that can help in everyday tasks. His wife Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg) hasn't found a job yet and is still unpacking their things when Alain agrees to allow his boss and his wife to come over for a dinner. His boss, Richard (Andre Dussollier), arrives at the house with a jovial aura but his wife (Charlotte Rampling) has the disposition of a scorpion. That night, they find an injured lemming in their sink pipe. Since a lemming tends to only live in Scandinavia, it freaks Alain out big time. Things don't get any better when the boss' wife commits suicide in the Gettys' house, which prompts Benedicte to take a very strange turn in mood.

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Bon Voyage Review


Weak
Roger Ebert once wrote that he would love to see a behind the scenes look at how a bad movie got made. Though it's certainly not the worst movie of 2004, people might get a kick out of a look at the French drama Bon Voyage and how the cast and crew turned a plot revolving around World War II, nuclear explosives, escaped convicts, and unrequited love into such a lifeless experience.

My nominee for the culprit would be the plot, which is convoluted and plodding. In short, Paris is in flux as the Nazis make their advances in 1940. A spoiled, petulant actress (Isabelle Adjani) travels with her new beau of convenience, the Prime Minister, played by a slim Gérard Depardieu. Meanwhile, her childhood friend (Grégori Derangère) - whom she inadvertently framed for murder - has escaped from jail.

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Human Resources Review


Extraordinary
"Human Resources" usually refers to the department that deals with employee relations (i.e. where they hire and fire them), but taken literally it also means dealing with the resources that make us human. This powerful French film, directed by Laurent Cantet, clearly means to use the term ironically with a slight leaning toward the latter definition.

Frank (Jalil Lespert) comes home from a business College to work a summer internship in the management office with the same company that employs his father (Jean-Claude Vallod) who is a factory worker there. Right from the start, Human Resources sets up the contentious scenario of father versus son, but it's a credit to the intelligence of the script, by Laurent Cantet and Gilles Marchand, that it doesn't follow a plot line that you would expect it to.

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Les Sanguinaires Review


OK
A group of slacker French people decide the upcoming millennium is going to be too plastic and annoying, so they head to a small island off the coast of the country. Soon they're annoying each other, and a donkey ends up dead. In 68 minutes, we're treated to a crude digest of L'Avventura as seen through the eyes of a bunch of hopeless Francs. Part of the "2000 Seen By" series of films about the eve of the millennium, none of which anyone seems to have seen.

With A Friend Like Harry Review


Very Good
Filled with a tantalizing air of suspense, With a Friend Like Harry is an unusual yet well-balanced mix of dark comedy, French thriller, and surreal drama. As I was watching the film, I found myself groping for its message at each turn of the plot. Its ultimate effect is comparable to Claude Chabrol's La Cérémonie, with all its violence and commentary on class delineation.

In With a Friend Like Harry, two former schoolmates accidentally meet in a roadside bathroom. Michel (Laurent Lucas) is on vacation with his wife Claire (Mathilde Seigner) and their three little daughters. He is harried and haggard, far from enjoying this so-called vacation: an endless ride with whining and screaming kids in an un-air conditioned car. Harry (Sergi López) is everything Michel is not: Sleek and self-contained, he doesn't seem to be burdened by anything except good memories and a load of money. Within minutes, Harry invites himself and his girlfriend, a corpulent, springy bun named Plum (Sophie Guillemin), to Michel's house -- to reminisce about the good old school days Michel himself can barely remember.

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Red Lights Review


Excellent
Red Lights consists of a lot of driving, but unlike those trips you took with your folks and their array of Air Supply and Anne Murray cassettes, it's never boring. This movie is a riveting look at manhood and marriage. It's also legitimately frightening.

A Parisian couple in their 40s set off on a lengthy trip to pick up their kids from camp in Southern France. Hélène (Carole Bouquet) is a successful attorney who is a beloved, crucial part of her firm. Antoine (Jeane Pierre Darroussin) works for an insurance company, and it's very apparent that this trip has a very different meaning for him. In the movie's early moments, you see that he's dissatisfied with his role in the relationship. He's waiting on her to arrive; she's the one with the demands. He leaves work without any notice.

Continue reading: Red Lights Review

Gilles Marchand

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Gilles Marchand Movies

Bon Voyage Movie Review

Bon Voyage Movie Review

Roger Ebert once wrote that he would love to see a behind the scenes look...

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With a Friend Like Harry Movie Review

With a Friend Like Harry Movie Review

Filled with a tantalizing air of suspense, With a Friend Like Harry is an unusual...

Red Lights Movie Review

Red Lights Movie Review

Red Lights consists of a lot of driving, but unlike those trips you took with...

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