Julie Depardieu

Julie Depardieu

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The Witnesses Review


Weak
Lost somewhere in André Téchiné's The Witnesses, a rather bewildered Emmanuelle Beart plays the part of Sarah, a frustrated children's book author with a new baby she doesn't really understand. Although the other main characters are only known to each other through her, she seems merely female window dressing for most of this men's film. Of much more import to the filmmaker are the activities of one Manu (Johan Libereau), a rather rudderless young man who's caught the eye of a doctor out cruising one fateful summer night in a Paris park. Because of that one inexplicable attraction in the summer of 1984 (rather portentously titled here "Happy Days"), we get a rather desultory melodrama about a love quadrangle during the start of the AIDS epidemic in France. And all the while, Sarah keeps writing in the sad expectation that somebody in the film will care.

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...

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Les Destinées Review


Weak
Do you like plates? Like, really nice plates? Perhaps fine porcelain plates made in the 1900s-1920s in Limoges, France?

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.

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God Is Great, And I'm Not Review


Good
Audrey Tautou doesn't do much to clean up the image that models don't have the capacity for original thought. God Is Great, and I'm Not's simplistic conceit is that Tautou's Michèle is a model who changes her religion as often as she changes her hair (and believe me, that's an awful lot in this film... seeing Tautou with an ill-advised permanent wave is worth the rental alone).

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).

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La Petite Lili Review


Good
Claude Miller isn't the only guy who's drooled over Ludivine Sagnier's nude body, but he's the first to title his movie after her character.

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.

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A Very Long Engagement Review


Good
Although there are likely better directors who could have been found to film Sebastien Japrisot's World War I-set novel A Very Long Engagement than Jean-Pierre Jeunet, of City of Lost Children fame and Alien: Resurrection infamy, there are many more who would have been worse - and if that sounds like a backhanded insult, it's not. The story of five French soldiers who are sentenced to death for self-inflicted wounds (done so that they could be evacuated from the front lines) and condemned to march out into the no man's land between the Germans' trenches and theirs, it's a tricky mix of war epic, black comedy, and heart-stirring romance that would have left many filmmakers flummoxed. And although Jeunet takes some serious missteps and doesn't know when to leave the jokes alone, he has mostly succeeded where many would have failed.

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.

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Julie Depardieu

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Julie Depardieu Movies

Female Agents Trailer

Female Agents Trailer

Female Agents is based of real events that happened in World War II, it follows...

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God Is Great, and I'm Not Movie Review

God Is Great, and I'm Not Movie Review

Audrey Tautou doesn't do much to clean up the image that models don't have the...

A Very Long Engagement Movie Review

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