And Now... Ladies And Gentlemen Movie Review
She's a jazz singer depressed by the weight of her past.
Together they're the stars of And Now... Ladies and Gentlemen, a film completely ignored during its theatrical release but likely to find an intrigued audience on DVD.
Jeremy Irons and real-life chanteuse Patricia Kaas (in her sole film role) are destined to meet somewhere along the way, but much of Gentlemen works out as the two carry on separate lives in separate stories. How they come together is the charm and the tragedy of the film, as it's fairly clear from the start that both are destined to end up miserable -- or worse -- as both fear they have brain disorders.
Directed by Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) Gentlemen is a strange combination of road trip and love story -- a more mature Before Sunrise but with a creepier undercurrent. The latter half plays out like To Catch a Thief; it's even set on shores of the Mediterrean. The problem with the film is that its two greatest components are in relatively short supply. Irons' bold heists end early on. Kaas's singing is more prevalent throughout the film but half the time she walks out on her sets, a product of her presumed mental condition.
Then there's the issue of the film's rambling and far too long running time. By the time Kaas and Irons are riding donkeys somewhere in Morocco, any sense of adventure has been sucked dry by the pair's neuroses and endless conversations about the inevitability of death. Irons gets busted. Kaas continues to mope. We're well into the third hour of the film before any sense of closure is reached -- or much sense is made out of all of this.
Aka And Now Ladies & Gentlemen.