Marie Gillain

Marie Gillain

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68th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Marie Gillain - A host of movie stars were snapped on the red carpet as they attended the 68th Annual Cannes Film Festival Opening Ceremony in Cannes, France - Wednesday 13th May 2015

Marie Gillain

De Rouille Et D'os (Rust and Bone) premiere during the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival

Marie Gillain and Cannes Film Festival Thursday 17th May 2012 De Rouille Et D'os (Rust and Bone) premiere during the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival

Marie Gillain and Cannes Film Festival

'Moonrise Kingdom' premiere at the Opening Ceremony of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival

Marie Gillain and Cannes Film Festival Wednesday 16th May 2012 'Moonrise Kingdom' premiere at the Opening Ceremony of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival

Marie Gillain and Cannes Film Festival

Coco Before Chanel Review


Good
This biopic kind of dwells on the misery in Coco Chanel's life, but it's a strong story of a woman who made her own way against all odds. And it's skilfully and beautifully filmed and acted.

After her mother died in 1895, Gabrielle Chanel (Cohen) moves into orphanage, where nuns teach her how to sew. As soon as she's 18 (now Tautou), she becomes a bar singer with her sister (Gillain) and is dubbed "Coco" after her signature song. Even now she's rebelling against the constricting clothes of the day, and when she becomes the mistress of the wealthy Etienne Balsan (Poelvoorde), she has clear ideas about her own life. What she doesn't expect is that she'll fall for his friend Boy Capel (Nivola).

Director-cowriter Fontaine tells this story like Chanel's fashion style: elegant and detailed, but without frills. The film takes us through these early years in a somewhat dispassionate way, only drawing emotion from Tautou's mesmerising performance. She conveys a sharp, opinionated intelligence even as Coco knows her place in society. And as she quietly evolves to the moment she becomes the Coco we remember, Tautou keeps the character consistently engaging without sacrificing any of her inner toughness.

Fontaine doesn't shrink from portraying this male-dominated society: men treated women like possessions. So Coco was a true revolutionary, going against the grain to become the first major female designer. Fontaine makes sure the period detail is sleek and gorgeously recreated, with actors who aren't afraid to show the dark sides of their characters. There are moments of levity, but powerful scenes between Tautou, Poelvoorde and Gillain reveal a shadowy complexity.

The problem is that the film feels a bit gloomy as a result; Coco seems melancholic even when she's smiling. And this carries through to the limited colour scheme, as well as Coco's simple clothing in a time when women wore outrageous frills. But watching closely, we can see Coco in control of her life, even though the men around her thought she was theirs. And into this world, Nivola's Boy is a breath of fresh air, a rare man who can see her for who she is. So where their story goes can't help but move us.

Coco Before Chanel Trailer


Watch the trailer for Coco Before Chanel

Continue: Coco Before Chanel Trailer

Elective Affinities Review


Weak
If someone asked me to identify a prototypical "art film," I could do no better than to point them to Elective Affinities, a low-budget period piece from Italy, featuring circuitous dialogue, a story based on a Goethe novel, and an absolutely awful title.

Elective Affinities tracks a foursome in a Tuscan villa who couple in a variety of formations. There's bad feelings and a baby, but most of all there's a whole lotta talking about emotions -- with a pseudo-scientific explanation of love as a mathematical equation (which, sort of, explains the title).

Continue reading: Elective Affinities Review

Fresh Bait Review


OK
French sophisticates cringed in horror, I'm sure, when news of this (true) 1993 crime came to light: A girl and her two friends tortured and murdered a pair of wealthy men. Why? Because they wanted to raise money to open an upscale clothing boutique in the United States.

Well, it's easier than venture capital. And it helps if you're a psychopath. The movie belongs to ingenue Marie Gillain (best known as the daughter in My Father the Hero), who just so happens to appear naked pretty much throughout the entire film. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact it's not totally gratuitous: You'd have to be a nut to strip this often in front of this many people.

Continue reading: Fresh Bait Review

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