Jacques Gamblin

Jacques Gamblin

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The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [Le Premier Jour du Reste de Ta Vie] Review


Essential
This exquisitely made French drama traces the life of a family through five key days over 12 years. It's a joy to watch, with vibrant characters, inventive direction and an emotional resonance that's both provocative and deeply moving.

In 1988, Robert and Marie-Jeanne (Gamblin and Breitman) are coming to terms with the fact that their eldest son Albert (Marmai) is moving into his own flat as middle son Raph (Grondin) turns 18. Over the years we also revisit them as rebellious daughter Fleur (Francois) turns 16 and follow relationships with various boys and girls as well as Robert's wine-loving father (Dumas). The family bond is strained and tested, including at least one ongoing feud, and yet there's an irresistible, indefinable connection, and a sense that they are discovering life together.

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The Color of Lies Review


Good
Claude Chabrol's late-career films haven't been entirely inspired, but The Color of Lies is one of the standouts. It begins simply enough: A young girl has been raped and killed, and her creepy art teacher (Jacques Gamblin) is the number one suspect. He protests his innocence, and wife Sandrine Bonnaire stands by him. Meanwhile, other characters -- none of whom exactly exude compassion or likeability -- enter and exit, and the teacher looks increasingly innocent. But who's the killer? The sole lacking spot here is the dead fish of a police detective (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), who's ostensibly the hero of the film yet comes off as incompetent and bumbling at best. In fact, better casting all around could have elevated this film to a minor classic.

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Carnage Review


Weak
Here's the Euro version on the ever-popular "interlocking tales" genre.

Why is it so popular? Because it's so easy. All you have to do is start with one character, then keep inventing friends and relatives until you connect them back to the first guy. This is exactly what writer/director Delphine Gleize has done. Unfortunately, she forgot that to add in anything along the way that we should actually care about.

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Safe Conduct Review


Weak
French director (and cineaste favorite) Bertrand Tavernier is 20 years out from his masterpiece, Coup de torchon. Since then, most of his work has been forgettable, if not awful ('Round Midnight being the exception), and Tavernier seemed to be scraping bottom in 1999 with his oh-my-God-how-uninteresting-can-one-movie-be It All Starts Today.

Tavernier's 2002 entry, Safe Conduct, starts out with considerable promise, but it's ultimately a squandered effort.

Continue reading: Safe Conduct Review

Jacques Gamblin

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