No such luck. Manu is the story's free spirit and for a good while the only character the script seems much interested in. He's the animating force that's keeping the doctor, Adrien (the sharp, excellent Michel Blanc), going through the motions of his rather sad routine life. As much as Adrien wants romance from the substantially younger Manu, the feelings aren't reciprocated, and he confides his frustration to his good friend Sarah. That's when Manu starts hanging around, and Sarah's husband Mehdi (Sami Bouajila), starts to like what he sees...
Continue reading: The Witnesses Review
You better damn well like plates if you're going to suffer through the three hours of Les Destinées, an exhausting family drama about a porcelain empire and just as hard a flick as its subject matter.
Continue reading: Les Destinées Review
Anyone who personally knows a frequent religion-jumper will be all too familiar with Michèle's specious quest, much more a reaction to her failed love life than a real search for spirituality. The Amelie star does manage to capture the wide-eyed innocence/ignorance of her ilk (both models and the clueless), but ultimately the movie is just one big joke that never goes anywhere. There aren't too many thrills to be found in Tautou reading a different religious-themed self-help book ever day during her photo shoots. In fact, it's more fun just to ogle her ridiculous outfits (the highlight being a bubble wrap headdress).
Continue reading: God Is Great, And I'm Not Review
In this adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, Sagnier gets fourth billing, yet the title would indicate she's center stage. Well, in a way, she is. Without her zombified, dazed expression and bimbo haircut, Sagnier provides the sexual energy that makes this story work at all: She's the central cog in a love quadrangle, which involves an aging actress, her old director of a beau, a young upstart director, and of course, Lili. The older couple and the younger couple drift apart because of the old man's wandering eye -- and who can blame him? And Lili sees a career boost in the old man, whereas the young director (Robinson Stévenin) is still working through his experimental -- and awful -- phase of filmmaking.
Continue reading: La Petite Lili Review
Although it starts off like a war film - opening in the muck and mire, as all good war films must - and gives us plenty of reason to understand why these soldiers shot themselves in the hand (a sort of purposeful self-stigmata), A Very Long Engagement is really about a woman trying to find her lost love. The woman, Mathilde, is played by Jeunet's muse, Audrey Tautou, and though she doesn't here have the near-angelic glow he gave her in Amelie, she's plenty captivating nonetheless. Mathilde fell in love with her childhood friend, Manech (Gaspard Ulliel), and we see their romance in flashback, all frolicking in their picturesque village, swooning episodes atop a lighthouse and innocent carnality. Then the war comes, and poor, fresh-faced Manech is sent off to the front, later to be one of the five hurled into no man's land by a callous military bureaucracy determined to make an example of them. After the war, Mathilde refuses to accept what seems obvious to everybody else, that Manech is dead, and she launches on a journey to dig up every last piece of information she can about the case and find out what happened to her one true love.
Continue reading: A Very Long Engagement Review
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Although there are likely better directors who could have been found to film Sebastien Japrisot's...