Robert Fairchild, Veanne Cox, Leanne Cope, Leslie Caron, Jill Paice, Brandon Uranowitz , Max von Essen - Media day with legendary musical film star Leslie Caron and the Broadway cast of An American in Paris at the Palace Theatre. at Palace Theatre,, Palace Theatre - New York, New York, United States - Monday 18th January 2016
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Never before seen in the US, this Swiss production concerns a championship chess match between Soviet master Liebskind (Michel Piccoli) and his former student, a defector named Fromm (Alexandre Arbatt). The underlying political intrigue -- which we expect -- is quite understated as the film focuses on the mind games between the two players. Sure, there's a political agenda, but the insight into how these players try to outfox each other between matches is priceless. They plan strategies, only to watch them come undone during the actual game. When we learn that Liebskind is dying, the game becomes a metaphor for not just east vs. west, but life vs. life.
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The conflict between the Walker and de Persand clans is meant to be only the backdrop for the film's marquee star, Kate Hudson, to strut her naïve self around Paris and fall in lust with Charles-Henri's uncle, the much-older Edgar (Thierry Lhermitte), a suave TV commentator. But it is this familial battleground that quickly becomes the more engaging storyline, especially after Roxy and Isabel's parents (Sam Waterston and Stockard Channing) fly in from California to help out in the negotiations. Waterston and Channing play their roles with effortless grace, establishing that they've been comfortably married for years by using only the slightest of gestures.
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The premise: a wealthy Parisian (Louis Jourdan) is training a young girl (Leslie Caron) to be his mistress. He and his ribald uncle (Maurice Chevalier) even sing songs like "Thank Heaven for Little Girls." It's a musical about pedophilia -- and this is one of Hollywood's most glorified song-and-dance films. Even more bizarre is that Caron was 27 when she was tapped to play young Gigi. She looks like she's about 16.
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The further away director James Ivory and producer Ishmael Merchant get from their trademarked aristocratic period pieces, like "A Room With a View" and "Howard's End," the worse their movies get. At this point, I fully expect their next film to be a futuristic sci-fi chamber drama, because that's the only way they could sink lower than "Le Divorce."
A pseudo-sophisticated sexual roundelay full of trivial characters so selfish it's a chore to spend two hours with them, this is the story of two American sisters suffering the slings and arrows of French male infidelity -- but even these women served up as the movie's heroines are worthy of very little sympathy.
Naomi Watts plays Roxy, an insecure doormat of a pregnant poetess in present-day Paris, who is in shock at the departure of Charles-Henri (Melvil Poupaud), her philandering husband who has taken up with a married Russian dancer. Just arrived from Santa Monica, her supposedly self-possessed younger sibling Isabel (Kate Hudson) is appalled at Roxy's plight -- although that doesn't stop the little hypocrite from becoming the throwaway mistress of the cheater's Uncle Edgar (Thierry Lhermitte), an arrogant right-wing politician.
Continue reading: Le Divorce Review
A fanciful fairy tale for grown-ups, "Chocolat" takes place in a sleepy French village, circa 1959, and stars Juliette Binoche as a nomadic confectioner of sublime candy delicacies whose arrival -- just as Lent has begun -- stirs curiosity, gossip and scornful disdain among the locals.
Happy-go-lucky in the face of adversity and apparently a boat-rocker by nature, she sets up shop practically across the street from the church, providing almost cruel temptation to a population observing 40 days of fasting and penitence.
But the influence of the chocolaterie and its proprietor soon extends beyond simple taste bud enticement. Her enchanted chocolates and therapeutic personality have soon rekindled the marriage of a local couple, returned a smile to the face of her cantankerous landlady (Judi Dench), and inspired an abused wife (Lena Olin) to leave her husband (and come work for Binoche). This disruption in the status quo ruffles the feathers of the zealous and austere local nobleman (Alfred Molina), who considers the chocolate shop to be the work of the devil and sets his mind to seeing Binoche run out of town for interrupting the village's static tranquility.
Continue reading: Chocolat Review
Two American blondes discover the joys of Paris - love, heartache, and wearing scarves in...
The further away director James Ivory and producer Ishmael Merchant get from their trademarked aristocratic...