Kad Merad

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The Well-digger's Daughter Review


Excellent
For his directing debut, actor Auteuil remakes Marcel Pagnol's 1940 classic into a twisty, involving romance. It's thoroughly engaging all the way through, leaving us with a surge of emotion we rarely get at the cinema.

In rural pre-War France, Pascal is a widower (Auteuil) with six daughters. The oldest is 18-year-old Patricia (Berges-Frisbey), who's starting to notice boys.

She's reluctant about a plan to fix her up with Pascal's employee Felipe (Merad), and instead flirts shamelessly with Jacques (Duvauchelle), a dashing pilot who literally sweeps her off her feet. But her secret courtship with Jacques doesn't go as planned. Then war breaks out and both men are called to battle, leaving Patricia pregnant. And Jacques' parents (Azema and Darroussin) don't want to know.

Continue reading: The Well-digger's Daughter Review

Kad Merad Sunday 15th May 2011 2011 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 5 - The Artist - Premiere Cannes, France

Michele Laroque and Kad Merad
Michele Laroque and Kad Merad

22 Bullets [l'immortel] Review


Very Good
As violent as this mob thriller is, it also has a terrific sense of its central characters, focussing on strong emotions and moral decisions. And even though it's overcomplicated, the result is a sleek and very classy.

Charly (Reno) retired from his job as a Marseilles mob boss to spend time with his family. But someone has it in for him, and after he survives being shot 22 times, Charly and a cop (Fois) start looking for who did it. Charly immediately turns to the other local bosses (Merad and Berry), childhood friends with whom he took a vow of loyalty. But soon all-out war breaks out between thugs on various sides, and the division of loyalty isn't as clear-cut as it should be.

Continue reading: 22 Bullets [l'immortel] Review

22 Bullets Trailer


After living a life of crime, Charly Mattei decides to leave his past behind him and devote his family. It's been over three years since his last offence and as far as Charly is concerned his previous bad ways are far behind him. All is set to change when a previous friend leave Charly for dead with 22 bullets in his body.

Continue: 22 Bullets Trailer

The Chorus Review


Weak
Manipulative, maudlin filmmaking knows no cultural boundaries, and further proof of imports' potential for derivative corniness can be found in The Chorus (Les Choristes), Christophe Barratier's directorial debut - a runaway hit in its native France - about an inspirational music teacher at a boarding school for delinquent kids in 1949 France. An embarrassingly mushy story of an ordinary guy's yeoman efforts to change the world one rebellious rascal at a time, it's a movie that disingenuously invokes and exploits Nazi war crimes and child abuse in service of a feel-good fable. Cloying from start to finish, it's so drenched in syrupy sentimentality - from its plethora of quaint small-town Parisian details to its bludgeoning good vs. evil set-up - that one barely needs to read the subtitles to recognize its utilization of every convention found in Mr. Holland's Opus, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Dangerous Minds, and innumerable other films in Hollywood's trite, faux-uplifting "good teacher-bad student" sub-genre.

Former aspiring musician Clément Mathieu (a charismatic Gérard Jugnot) is the new instructor at a school for uncontrollable adolescent boys which - under the strict orders of dastardly principal Rachin (François Berléand) - punishes bad behavior with swift violence in a policy referred to as "Action - Reaction." Such abuse doesn't sit well with Mathieu, a sensitive soul who believes that there's goodness hidden underneath these wayward kids' rough exteriors. Naturally, The Chorus wholeheartedly subscribes to this romantic theory, characterizing each and every pint-sized punk as an angel in disguise. Though initially intent on terrorizing their new teacher, Mathieu's students see the light once the music-loving professor turns their unruly class into a disciplined choral group, their vocal training indirectly inciting them to study, reconnect with their families (in the case of Jean-Baptiste Maunier's star singer Morhange) or find surrogate parents to embrace (such as with Maxence Perrin's impish Pépinot). As far as Barratier's rose-colored fairy tale is concerned, every bad seed - regardless of his vileness - is redeemable with a little Do-Re-Mi and TLC, and thus The Chorus goes to great lengths to play up the central conflict between compassionate care and corporal punishment embodied by the kindhearted Mathieu and wicked Rachin, a villain so groaningly cartoonish it's a wonder he doesn't twirl his graying moustache.

Continue reading: The Chorus Review

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Kad Merad Movies

The Well-digger's Daughter Movie Review

The Well-digger's Daughter Movie Review

For his directing debut, actor Auteuil remakes Marcel Pagnol's 1940 classic into a twisty, involving...

22 Bullets [l'immortel] Movie Review

22 Bullets [l'immortel] Movie Review

As violent as this mob thriller is, it also has a terrific sense of its...

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22 Bullets Trailer

22 Bullets Trailer

After living a life of crime, Charly Mattei decides to leave his past behind him...

The Chorus Movie Review

The Chorus Movie Review

Manipulative, maudlin filmmaking knows no cultural boundaries, and further proof of imports' potential for derivative...

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