Melvil Poupaud

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Melvil Poupaud - 2016 Rendez-Vous With French Cinema - "Valley Of Love" Opening Night Screening - New York, New York, United States - Friday 4th March 2016

Melvil Poupaud
Melvil Poupaud

By The Sea Review

OK

For their first on-screen partnership since Mr & Mrs Smith a decade ago, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie team up for this period drama about a strained marriage, written and directed by Mrs Jolie Pitt herself. It's made on a lavish scale, with achingly beautiful locations and costumes, plus references to classics from Plein Soleil to Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. But none of that can hide the fact that this is a stilted, contrived movie about two loathsome people we wouldn't want to spend five minutes with, let alone two very long hours.

It's the mid-1970s on the Mediterranean coast in southern France, and Americans Roland and Vanessa (Pitt and Jolie) descend into an isolated cove for a getaway to rescue their collapsing relationship. A novelist, Roland is also trying to snap out of writer's block, so he explores local village and chats with cafe owner Michel (Niels Arestrup) for inspiration. Meanwhile, Vanessa prowls around their vast suite in a grand villa perched on the edge of the sea, latching onto the newlywed couple (Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent) in the room next door. But something deeply damaging has happened between Roland and Vanessa, and spying on this couple through a hole in the wall only offers a vague sense of mutual gratification. What they really need to do is confront the elephant in their own room.

Pitt and Jolie always seem aware that a camera is on them, striking poses and blurting their dialogue in ways that never feel remotely honest. Their simplistic reactions to whatever happened in their past (Roland's booze and Vanessa's rage) are never properly explored, so the characters wind up being utterly superficial. And this leaves everything from their big mood swings to their moments of quiet tenderness feeling rather pointless. By contrast, the French actors invest an easy authenticity to their much smaller roles, grounding the setting with an earthiness that only makes Roland and Vanessa look even more alien.

Continue reading: By The Sea Review

Melvil Poupaud , Melanie Laurent - World premiere gala screening of 'By the Sea' at TCL Chinese Theater - Red Carpet Arrivals at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres - Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 5th November 2015

Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent

Melvil Poupaud , Melanie Laurent - AFI FEST 2015 Presented By Audi Opening Night Gala Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "By The Sea" at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres - Hollywood, California, United States - Friday 6th November 2015

Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent

Melvil Poupaud - AFI Fest Presented by Audi Opening Night Gala "By The Sea" Premiere at TCL Chinese Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 6th November 2015

Melvil Poupaud
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent
Melvil Poupaud and Melanie Laurent

By The Sea - Teaser Trailer


It's the 1970s and Roland and Vanessa are an outwardly respectable married couple, struggling to find common ground with each other. While the latter used to be a dancer, the former is now a writer, and while the pair clash continually they decide to venture to France together in the hopes of rebuilding their relationship and saving their marriage. The stay at a beautiful and luxurious seaside resort and find themselves inextricably bonding with a local couple named Lea and François who are just married, and two other eccentric resident business owners called Michel and Patrice. But with accusations of infidelity plaguing their lives, struggles with mental instability on both parts and even violent altercations happening almost daily, can their marriage really be saved by their newfound friends and a glorious sea view? 

Continue: By The Sea - Teaser Trailer

Laurence Anyways Review


Very Good

After I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats, 23-year-old filmmaker Dolan gets even more ambitious with this epic-length romantic drama. Not all of his flourishes work, and the film is far too long, but there are moments of artistic genius all the way through that make it worth seeing. It's also anchored by two terrific central performances that work their way under our skin.

At the centre is the free-spirited relationship between Laurence (Poupaud) and his long-time girlfriend Fred (Clement). But Fred is caught completely off-guard when Laurence tells her that he has always felt like he was a man in a woman's body, and now he wants to start the transition to become female. She initially rejects him, but realises that she still loves him, regardless of his gender. His mother (Baye) takes longer to come round. And for Laurence the treatment from his colleagues and society at large is even more difficult to cope with, as he's the brunt of rampant bigotry. Over the course of a decade, his relationship with Fred is stretched to the breaking point, and after a few years apart they meet up again to see if they still belong together.

Poupaud and Clement deliver startlingly naturalistic performances as Laurence and Fred, letting us see into their souls as they face secrets, betrayals, outside pressure and the continual feeling that they belong together. Intriguingly, all of this unfurls in a way that's completely organic, as Dolan grounds everything in real human emotions. In fact, the only complaint is that the film feels artistically indulgent, and could have used a stronger editor to shape the story into a leaner, less rambling narrative.

Continue reading: Laurence Anyways Review

A Week In Movies Featuring: Star Wars, Gambit, Hitchcock, Movie 43, Now You See Me And Much More!


Lawrence Kasdan Star Wars Colin Firth Cameron Diaz Anthony Hopkins Melvil Poupaud

The big movie news this week was that Disney has signed Lawrence Kasdan to return to the franchise to write Star Wars Episode VIII. He cowrote both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi some 30 years ago. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) is writing Episode VII, and Simon Kinberg (X-men: First Class) is working on Episode XIX.

While rumour has it that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will all be back for the new Star Wars movies, it's unlikely that Ewan McGregor will appear in them. But he was on hand this week for the London premiere of The Impossible, a true drama about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami by Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage). Bayona and McGregor were joined on the red carpet and a screening Q&A by costar Naomi Watts.

Two big British films open in the UK this weekend. The remake of the con-artist comedy Gambit sees Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz take on roles originally played by Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine in 1966. And David Tennant joins Marc Wootton for Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, the sequel to 2009's hit comedy Nativity! Yes, it's just as stupid as the first film, but it's also a holiday guilty pleasure.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies Featuring: Star Wars, Gambit, Hitchcock, Movie 43, Now You See Me And Much More!

Laurence Anyways Trailer


Laurence and his girlfriend Fred couldn't ask for a more special relationship. They spend as much time as they have together and are as passionately in love with each other as they were when they met 10 years ago. Although tempers flare occasionally, the couple are dependent on one another and do everything within their power to disassociate themselves with other people, despite the fact that Laurence is constantly around others in his career as a teacher and writer. However, things aren't as perfect as they could be for Laurence. He has a secret that he hoped would be forgotten once he met Fred; he longs to be a woman. When he breaks down and confesses his feelings to Fred, she is initially shocked but agrees to try and make it work. When Laurence starts dressing as a woman, things are not straight forward and the prejudices of society cause him to be shunned in his career, criticised by his parents and beaten up in the street. Fred is also having second thoughts - can she maintain their troubled relationship even with the constant worry and societal pressure?

This hard-hitting French romance is one of the most mature storylines director and writer Xavier Dolan ('I Killed My Mother', 'Heartbeats') has ever worked on. It is set to be released on November 30th 2012 in the UK.

Director: Xavier Dolan

Continue: Laurence Anyways Trailer

Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Xavier and Cannes Film Festival - Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Suzanne Clement, Director Xavier Dolan and actress Monia Chokri Saturday 19th May 2012 'Laurence Anyways' photocall during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Xavier and Cannes Film Festival
Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Xavier and Cannes Film Festival
Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye, Xavier and Cannes Film Festival

Le Refuge Review


Very Good
Ozon is back in sensitive-drama mode for this almost subliminal personal story of a young woman trying to piece together the fragments of her life and understand her conflicting expectations and desires. But it's not easy to get a grip on.

In a posh Paris apartment, Louis and Mousse (Poupaud and Carre) live in squalor, addicted to heroin. They overdose, end up in hospital and, when Mousse wakes up, her doctor surprises her with the news that she's eight weeks pregnant and alone. Louis' mother (Vernet) blames her for everything, so Mousse escapes to an isolated house on the coast. She's joined there by Louis' more sympathetic brother Paul (Choisy). And even though she knows that he's gay, she starts falling for him. Even when he hooks up with someone else (Louis-Calixte).

Continue reading: Le Refuge Review

44 Inch Chest Review


Good
With its limited setting, contained cast and existential plot, this feels more like a play than a film. So while it's well-acted by a first-rate cast, it also feels somewhat indulgent and oddly unsatisfying.

Colin (Winstone) is a complete wreck after his wife Liz (Whalley) leaves him.

He's so distraught that his pals (Wilkinson, Hurt, McShane and Dillane) get together and kidnap the other man (Poupaud) so Colin can get his revenge. Now they're all in a disused house somewhere in London, as Colin's friends try to help him get control of his emotions. Flashbacks and fantasies ensue as Colin tries to figure out what to do, and whether an act of murderous violence will help soothe his soul.

Continue reading: 44 Inch Chest Review

44 Inch Chest Trailer


Watch the trailer for 44 Inch Chest

Continue: 44 Inch Chest Trailer

A Christmas Tale Review


Extraordinary
French director Arnaud Desplechin returns to the U.S. three years after his last domestically distributed picture, Kings & Queen, bearing a gift of another sort in A Christmas Tale. Seeing release approximately a month before the titular holiday, like some Black Friday extravaganza, Desplechin packs all manner of cinematic devices, narrative theatrics, and filmic vernacular into this work of unimaginable generosity.

Only a few days before the sugar plums and wassail are set on the table, Junon Vuillard (Catherine Deneuve), the grand matriarch of a family of lunatics, is diagnosed with a serious case of lymphoma, the same disease that already claimed her eldest son Joseph. The film opens with her husband Abel (Jean-Paul Roussillon) mourning over his son with a startlingly breezy candor. Employing shadow puppets, the lineage of the Vuillard family in its current incarnation is explained, leading to Ivan (Melvil Poupad), the youngest of Junon's children.

Continue reading: A Christmas Tale Review

Broken English Review


Weak
Don't you just love Parker Posey? She's such an original talent, and it's irksome to see her do so well in a film that just doesn't cut it. Broken English plays like a tired retread of Sex and the City, with all the same preoccupations and issues but with none of the fun. Posey gives it her best shot, but she has little to work with.

Nora (Posey) is a thirty-something hotel concierge specializing in VIP guests, but her life has little glamour. When not tending to the VIPs, she's home drinking red wine, popping sleeping pills, and wondering why she can't find just one nice man. A fifth-anniversary party for her best friend Audrey (Drea DeMatteo) adds insult to injury, even as her own mom (Gena Rowlands, director Zoe Cassavetes's mother) tries to cheer her up.

Continue reading: Broken English Review

Melvil Poupaud

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Melvil Poupaud Movies

By the Sea Movie Review

By the Sea Movie Review

For their first on-screen partnership since Mr & Mrs Smith a decade ago, Brad Pitt...

By The Sea - Teaser Trailer

By The Sea - Teaser Trailer

It's the 1970s and Roland and Vanessa are an outwardly respectable married couple, struggling to...

Laurence Anyways Movie Review

Laurence Anyways Movie Review

After I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats, 23-year-old filmmaker Dolan gets even more ambitious with...

Laurence Anyways Trailer

Laurence Anyways Trailer

Laurence and his girlfriend Fred couldn't ask for a more special relationship. They spend as...

Le Refuge Movie Review

Le Refuge Movie Review

Ozon is back in sensitive-drama mode for this almost subliminal personal story of a young...

44 Inch Chest Movie Review

44 Inch Chest Movie Review

With its limited setting, contained cast and existential plot, this feels more like a play...

44 Inch Chest Trailer

44 Inch Chest Trailer

Watch the trailer for 44 Inch Chest In his day Colin Diamond wasn't really the...

A Christmas Tale Movie Review

A Christmas Tale Movie Review

French director Arnaud Desplechin returns to the U.S. three years after his last domestically distributed...

Time to Leave Movie Review

Time to Leave Movie Review

Leave it to fascinating French writer/director François Ozon to take one of the most tired...

Le Divorce Movie Review

Le Divorce Movie Review

Two American blondes discover the joys of Paris - love, heartache, and wearing scarves in...

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