Colin (Romain Duris) is a rich inventor living in fantasy Paris who has focused his career on advancing his latest machine, the pianocktail; a piano that can also make cocktails for the thirsty instrumentalist. But his sights are soon turned away when he discovers that his best friend Chick is in love with a woman called Alise. Aggrieved by the thought of a life of loneliness, he decides to embark on a romantic adventure himself when he meets the quirky Chloe (Audrey Tautou) at a party. Initially a little awkward, Colin and Chloe fall dazzlingly in love. However, their happiness is soon compromised when Chloe falls deathly ill with a rare disease whereby a waterlily is growing inside her lung. Her only cure is to be surrounded by fresh flowers, but the question is, just how long can Colin keep up the treatment?
Originally entitled 'L'écume des jours', 'Mood Indigo' is a French fantasy romance based on the 1947 cult novel 'Froth on the Daydream' by Boris Vian. The movie has been directed by Academy Award winner Michel Gondry ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'The Science of Sleep') and co-written by Luc Bossi ('The Prey', 'L'empire des loups'). It won a Cesar Award at the 2014 ceremony where it was nominated for a further two awards, and it was also nominated for four prizes at the Lumiere Awards. 'Mood Indigo' is due for UK cinematic release on August 1st 2014.
French actor-filmmaker Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika) takes on a major event in his nation's colonial history with this true action-adventure set on the lush South Pacific island of New Caledonia. It's a muscular, harrowing military thriller that has echoes of Zero Dark Thirty in its urgent story's drive to a big action climax. And it was made a year earlier.
The events take place in 1988, as politicians in France are preparing for general elections when an uprising breaks out in New Caledonia and several people are taken hostage by Kanak islanders. So French special forces captain Philippe (Kassovitz) assembles a crack team to diffuse the situation. Their goal is to facilitate talks to find a peaceful solution, but the local French politician (Martin) and military bosses are keen on a much more aggressive approach to crush any percieved rebellion. This is especially frustrating to Philippe after he meets the Kanak leader (Lapacas) and discovers that they also want peace, and that the whole situation is the result of panic and inexperience.
As the military and government pushes violence over peace, the story becomes increasingly intense. The political gamesmanship is shocking, as candidates falsely label the Kanaks as "savages" to get votes while arrogant leaders make snap decisions thousands of miles away in Paris. So the film begins to feel like a real attempt to right France's colonial wrongs, and it's infused with the righteous anger of centuries of mistreatment of indigenous peoples. It even opens with the caption, "The truth hurts, but lies kill".
Continue reading: Rebellion [L'Ordre Et La Morale] Review
It's been three years since the super-fit cop Damien (Raffaelli) teamed up with the shady, athletic Leito (Belle) to bring the government to its knees.
Predictably, nothing has changed since then and in 2013, France's new president (Torreton) is convinced to take drastic actions against the violent thugs in District 13. Except that the whole scenario has been staged by the secret security service, led by the mysterious Gassman (Duval) and his top goon Roland (Mosconi), who try to do away with Damien and Leito (as if!), in order to enact their evil plan.
Continue reading: District 13: Ultimatum [banlieue 13: Ultimatum] Review
Manzor's script grafts upon this movie a Citizen Kane-type structure as it shunts us between the occasion of Napoleon's exhumation in Paris in 1840 and 20 years earlier, during Napoleon's island imprisonment. Upon his exhumation, the question is raised of how Napoleon died -- from an ulcer or slow poisoning? -- and whether Napoleon died at all -- or, as rumor has it, he foisted his butler Cipriani's body in place of his own and escaped to an anonymous life elsewhere. To find out, Heathcote questions Napoleon's mistress, Albine (Elsa Zylberstein), and the few officers who attended to him on St. Helena, as well as the British governor, Hudson Lowe (Richard E. Grant), once in charge of Napoleon's imprisonment and now reduced to an aging and disgraced wreck. Their reflections -- alternately wistful and caustic -- cue us to extended flashbacks of those island years and of Napoleon's shrewdly enigmatic persona. There is also the question of Betsy Balcombe (Siobhan Hewlett), an English merchant's daughter on St. Helena with whom Napoleon has an affair -- much to Albine's chagrin and Heathcote's too, for we're meant to believe that Heathcote's also smitten with her. But his gambit, at one point, to express his feelings to her is laughable, because it's such an obvious ploy by Manzor to bring his character to some turn-of-fate, having arrived here using voiceovers as a shortcut device and never treading the hard road of character development to earn his way.
Continue reading: Monsieur N. Review
And I would have been right again!
Continue reading: It All Starts Today Review
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