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Ludivine Sagnier - 66th Cannes Film Festival - 'Zulu' - Premiere - Cannes, France - Sunday 26th May 2013

Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier

Ludivine Sagnier - 66th Cannes Film Festival - Roberto Cavalli Yacht Party - Cannes, France - Thursday 23rd May 2013

Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier

Ludivine Sagnier - 66th Cannes Film Festival - Roberto Cavalli Yacht Party - Cannes, France - Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier

Ludivine Sagnier - 66th Cannes Film Festival - The Bling Ring premiere - Cannes, France - Thursday 16th May 2013

Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier
Ludivine Sagnier

Ludivine Sagnier - 66th Cannes Film Festival - "Jury 'Un Certain Regard" - Photocall - Cannes, France - Thursday 16th May 2013

Ludivine Sagnier
Ilda Santiago, Ludivine Sagnier, Thomas Vinterberg and Zhang Ziyi
Ludivine Sagnier

Love Crime [Crime D'Amour] Review


Very Good

This French dramatic thriller is so gleefully trashy that it's rather entertaining, as long as you don't try to take it seriously. Sleek and seductive, it's a pungent tale that plays out like a particularly lurid corporate soap. It also gives smart actresses Sagnier and Scott Thomas plenty of juicy material to play with as two women who try to derail each others' lives.

In the Paris office of a multinational corporation, Christine (Scott Thomas) is a fiercely ambitious executive looking for opportunities to advance her career. But then so is her brainy assistant Isabelle (Sagnier). And when Christine passes one of Isabelle's clever ideas off as her own, Isabelle gets even by seducing Christine's boyfriend (Mille) and deploying her assistant (Marquet) on secret missions. From here the manipulative manoeuvring accelerates, as both women try to get the upper hand. And Isabelle seems to be playing a much longer game.

Director Corneau fully indulges in the story's sordid elements, letting both Sagnier and Scott Thomas play up their characters' nasty ambitions as they engage in a vicious tit for tat. Every word and gesture is designed to bring the other one down a notch. As the balance of power shifts back and forth, we are aware that there's a larger plot developing off-screen, so watching it emerge is a lot of fun, especially then there's so much twisted chemistry between these two actresses and the hapless men they use to carry out their evil scheming.

Continue reading: Love Crime [Crime D'Amour] Review

Beloved Review


OK
Adventurous French filmmaker Honore returns to the musical genre, but this film isn't as buoyant as the wonderful Les Chansons d'Amour (2007). No, this one is dark and rather grim. And it feels about an hour too long.

In 1964 Riems, Madeleine (Sagnier) accidentally begins moonlighting as a prostitute before falling in love with a client, the charming Czech doctor Jaromil (Bukvic). He whisks her off to Prague, until the Russian invasion of 1968 and Jaromil's infidelity drive her back to France with daughter Vera.

Madeleine remarries, but never loses her feelings for Jaromil. Even some 40 years later (now played by Deneuve and Forman), they're meeting in secret, while Vera (now Mastroianni) is struggling with the fact that she has fallen in love with the wrong man (Schneider).

Continue reading: Beloved Review

The Devil's Double Review


Excellent
Anchored by a fierce double performance from Dominic Cooper, this true story is so intensely violent that it's not easy to watch. But it's an extremely well-made film, and the tight point of view makes it both riveting and urgent.

In 1990 Iraq, Saddam Hussein's son Uday (Cooper) is on a rampage of rape, torture and murder when he grabs his old school friend Latif Yahia (Cooper again) and forces him to become his stand-in. Latif isn't allowed to say no and, after extensive training and plastic surgery, plus the approval of Saddam (Quast), he becomes Uday's doppelganger. But he never hides his belief that Uday is a psychopath, even to his mentor Munem (Rawl). And he takes an even bigger risk when he falls for one of Uday's girls, Sarrab (Sagnier).

Continue reading: The Devil's Double Review

Devil's Double Trailer


Based on a true story, The Devil's Double is about Latif Yahia and Uday Hussein (the latter of whom is the eldest son of future dictator Saddam Hussein) who were former school mates in Baghdad with a striking resemblance to each other. Years later, in 1987, Latif is summoned by Uday and is propositioned with what is described to him as a great honour: because of the two's similarity, Latif has been chosen to be Uday's body double, a deal he has no choice but to accept or have his family condemned to death.

Continue: Devil's Double Trailer

Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Review


Excellent
Picking up where Killer Instinct left off, this second part of the biopic has a 1970s style, with grittier edges and darker violence. But it takes the same anecdotal approach, never quite letting us in.

In 1973, rampant criminal Jacques Mesrine (Cassel) has finally been captured by the cops but stages a daring courtroom escape with the help of his pal Charlie (Lanvin). He's soon back to his bank-robbing, executive-kidnapping ways, taunting the tenacious detective Broussard (Gourmet) even when he's arrested.

In prison he concocts an elaborate escape with fellow inmate Besse (Amalric), and the two go on another brazen crime-spree, meeting Mesrine's next wife Sylvie (Sagnier) along the way. But as Mesrine adopts the politics of Germany's Baader-Meinhof gang, the cops are closing in.

Continue reading: Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Review

A Girl Cut In Two Review


Good
Quite a good portion of Claude Chabrol's tasty cocktail of romance and jealousy, A Girl Cut in Two, has gone by before you realize that, in essence, nothing much of consequence has happened. This is not a bad thing, and is more a testament to Chabrol's talent behind the camera that he's able to keep his film engaging well past the point that it should have any real right to be. It gives the film a certain drifting quality, even if one knows that something more momentous is waiting in the wings.

Chabrol, who also co-wrote the script with Cécile Maistre, based his story in some measure upon the sensational case of famous architect Stanford White's murder at Madison Square Garden's rooftop theater in 1906. A classic "murder of the century" case, the White murder had a plethora of salacious details for titillation, a number of which Chabrol cannily appropriates for his own scenario. Set in the present day in Lyon, A Girl Cut in Two seems at first like another portrait of an ennui-cloaked artiste, whose fame and fortune no longer excites him. Charles Saint-Denis (François Berléand, excellent in his understatement here just as he was in Tell No One) is an aging novelist of incomparable fame living the perfect life. He lives on a beautiful estate, is feted for his work almost nonstop, has a wife who doesn't appear to notice or care about his habitual flirting, and the money to do essentially whatever he wants. Being a famous novelist on the prowl, it doesn't take long for Saint-Denis to zero in on one of Lyon's most attractive single females, the quite young and innocently beautiful Gabrielle Deneige (Ludivine Sagnier).

Continue reading: A Girl Cut In Two Review

Love Songs Review


Good
Christopher Honore's Love Songs is an atmosphere of dalliance without any real characters to speak of. It's a light and playful story about sex and love but doesn't really say anything specific about either one. The actors, all proven performers, walk through it with a flirtatious candor, but never let in on what they're after or what they're flirting with besides each other. It so badly wants to be revisionist Godard but it ends up sub-Lelouch at best. Even so, the talented, young director floors it and manages to evade worn-out sexual archetypes with a gleeful glint in his eye.

Has a director ever gone so 180 as Honore, last seen offering the inside-out Dans Paris. Love Songs, his third and weakest film, builds on an endlessly-trampled possibility: Is it conceivable to have a relationship with three people where everyone happily coexists? As always, there's a couple at the middle, Ismaël (Louis Garrel) and Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), who are happy and in love but want to try their luck with another person. Enter Alice (Regular Lovers' Clotilde Hesme), a co-worker of Ismaël's. Alice and Julie fool around, and so do Alice and Ismaël, but Julie is unsatisfied with the experiment, which might explain why she shares the news with her entire family.

Continue reading: Love Songs Review

Paris, Je T'aime Review


Good
One would like to think that there at least a few other cities in the world besides Paris that could have inspired a film as varied in the types of cinematic pleasure so ably delivered by the anthology piece Paris Je T'Aime -- but it seems unlikely. This isn't due to an unavailability of good stories or locations in many other great metropolises, but more because being able to dangle the possibility of shooting in Paris in front of the world's greatest directors is going to be so much more enticing. Also, there are few other cities besides Paris that come with such a powerful and multifarious wealth of preassociated images and emotions for both filmmaker and audience to both draw upon and react against. So what could have been a collection of short films with a few highs, several lows, and a lot of muddled in-betweens is in fact a remarkably and consistently imaginative body of work, practically giddy with energy, that only rarely touches the ground.

Project overseers Emmanuel Benbihy and Tristan Carné wanted to create a cinematic map of Paris, with each short film representing one of the city's 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods). They ended up with 18 films, none of them more than a few minutes long and directed by a glittering, international roster of filmmakers. While none of the films here are anything approaching masterpieces, hardly a one is in any way a chore to sit through, which has to be some sort of an accomplishment.

Continue reading: Paris, Je T'aime Review

Peter Pan (2003) Review


Essential
The time is right to rekindle our relationship with J.M. Barrie's perpetually adolescent adventurer, Peter Pan. By now, you've probably forgotten Disney's 50-year-old animated adaptation of Barrie's work, and many of us are still trying to purge Steven Spielberg's hollow update Hook from our minds. We adults need a refresher course, and a new generation of whimsy-challenged kids needs a proper introduction to the happy-go-lucky joys of Pan.

Though it goes against everything he stands for, this rejuvenated Pan actually shows signs of growth and maturity. Special effects advancements help Peter and his cohorts pop off the screen. Cinematographer Donald McAlpine expands the rich color palette he utilized in such vivid films as Moulin Rogue and Romeo + Juliet. And director P.J. Hogan slips in subplots of unrequited love, develops pangs of loneliness, and mixes fleeting flights of happiness with his heroism.

Continue reading: Peter Pan (2003) Review

Peter Pan Review


Good

In an era of severely dumbed-down children's movies, the first live-action "Peter Pan" picture since the silent era does something extraordinary -- it un-Disneyfies the story, revives the deeper themes of J.M. Barrie's original book and play, and emerges as an appropriately wily family-fare delight.

From its exquisite, Maxfield-Parish-inspired Neverland of golden sunlight, lush green forests and cotton-candy clouds to the quintessently pubescent and enigmatically tingly chemistry between Peter (the strangely pretty 14-year-old Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (the even prettier 13-year-old Rachel Hurd-Wood), the film is a vivid and surprisingly visceral experience.

Director P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding") evokes the true wonder of childhood in the eyes of his young stars as Peter Pan, the mythical leafy-clad boy who refused to grow up, hovers with the power of happy thoughts and fairy dust outside the third-story window of Wendy Darling on a snowy night in 1900s London, engrossed in the stories of adventure that the girl spins with wide-eyed zeal for her little bothers John and Michael.

Continue reading: Peter Pan Review

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Ludivine Sagnier Movies

Love Crime [Crime d'Amour] Movie Review

Love Crime [Crime d'Amour] Movie Review

This French dramatic thriller is so gleefully trashy that it's rather entertaining, as long as...

Beloved Movie Review

Beloved Movie Review

Adventurous French filmmaker Honore returns to the musical genre, but this film isn't as buoyant...

The Devil's Double Movie Review

The Devil's Double Movie Review

Anchored by a fierce double performance from Dominic Cooper, this true story is so intensely...

Devil's Double Trailer

Devil's Double Trailer

Based on a true story, The Devil's Double is about Latif Yahia and Uday Hussein...

Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Movie Review

Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1 Movie Review

Picking up where Killer Instinct left off, this second part of the biopic has a...

A Girl Cut In Two Movie Review

A Girl Cut In Two Movie Review

Quite a good portion of Claude Chabrol's tasty cocktail of romance and jealousy, A Girl...

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Paris, Je T'aime Movie Review

Paris, Je T'aime Movie Review

One would like to think that there at least a few other cities in the...

Water Drops on Burning Rocks Movie Review

Water Drops on Burning Rocks Movie Review

Four people are in a room dancing, Charlie's Angels style, fingers pointed like shooting guns...

Swimming Pool Movie Review

Swimming Pool Movie Review

Here's the art house version of Caddyshack, also known as "the slob versus the snob."...

8 Women Movie Review

8 Women Movie Review

It's certainly admirable for a writer and/or director (in this case both) to take on...

Peter Pan (2003) Movie Review

Peter Pan (2003) Movie Review

The time is right to rekindle our relationship with J.M. Barrie's perpetually adolescent adventurer, Peter...

8 Women Movie Review

8 Women Movie Review

An affectionate, sophisticated parody of Technicolor melodramas and musicals of the 1950s -- with a...

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