Sophie Guillemin

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My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete En Friche] Review


Extraordinary
Small but perfectly formed, this unassuming French comedy is smart, emotionally engaging and often very funny. Essentially a coming-of-age story about a seemingly dopey middle-aged man, it's also a real charmer.For his whole life, Germain (Depardieu) has been told by his drama-queen mother (Maurier) that he's an idiot. So he has lived up to her expectations. But neighbours in his village loves his kind but bumbling ways. He spends each day at a cafe owned by his friend Francine (Maurane), getting involved in everyone's business. His bus-driver girlfriend (Guillemin) sees his better qualities, and so does Margueritte (Casadesus), a 95-year-old he meets in the park who, while reading books with him, quietly helps him see who he really is.The filmmakers occasionally give us flickers of Germain's past, with his dismissive young mother (Le Guernec) only very rarely showing any concern for his well-being. These scenes subtly fill in his back-story as we watch this fully grown (perhaps even overgrown) man explore his own intellect in a way he never thought possible. And the most interesting thing is that he doesn't seem to realise he's learning anything; he's just enjoying the rush of curiosity.Depardieu's acting is so offhanded that it seems like he isn't acting at all.

Then we remember that he has also recently played vicious, mercurial gangsters.

On the other hand, this is a beautiful depiction of a simple man who is beginning to understand his own complexities as well as some deep truths about those around him. Without ever being flashy, it's an impeccably pure performance. And the supporting cast members interact with him using raw humour and lively energy.

Continue reading: My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete En Friche] Review

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Review


Weak
Those of you enchanted by the cute title of this film, along with a poster featuring Amelie pixie Audrey Tautou's smiling face beaming out over a lush rose, stop right there. Hang up on Moviefone. Understand something before you shell out $20 for tickets and another $10 for snacks at the movie theater.

Your beloved Audrey is not starring in a sweet romantic comedy this time around.

Continue reading: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Review

With A Friend Like Harry Review


Very Good
Filled with a tantalizing air of suspense, With a Friend Like Harry is an unusual yet well-balanced mix of dark comedy, French thriller, and surreal drama. As I was watching the film, I found myself groping for its message at each turn of the plot. Its ultimate effect is comparable to Claude Chabrol's La Cérémonie, with all its violence and commentary on class delineation.

In With a Friend Like Harry, two former schoolmates accidentally meet in a roadside bathroom. Michel (Laurent Lucas) is on vacation with his wife Claire (Mathilde Seigner) and their three little daughters. He is harried and haggard, far from enjoying this so-called vacation: an endless ride with whining and screaming kids in an un-air conditioned car. Harry (Sergi López) is everything Michel is not: Sleek and self-contained, he doesn't seem to be burdened by anything except good memories and a load of money. Within minutes, Harry invites himself and his girlfriend, a corpulent, springy bun named Plum (Sophie Guillemin), to Michel's house -- to reminisce about the good old school days Michel himself can barely remember.

Continue reading: With A Friend Like Harry Review

He Loves Me Review


Weak

Throughout the first half of "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" -- a deceptive romantic thriller that thinks itself full of clever twists -- writer-director Laetitia Colombani conspicuously leaves out so many details of her story that it's a dead give-away something is amiss.

She buys a little time and good will from the audience by casting angelic Audrey Tautou -- the sweetheart of arthouse cinema after 2001's "Amélie" -- as her heroine, an art student zealously in love with a young, handsome, married cardiologist (Samuel Le Bihan, "Brotherhood of the Wolf").

Colombani tries to skirt around the fact that Le Bihan doesn't seem to be in love with Tautou -- he's noticeably absent from her day-to-day life -- by having their affair unfold only through Tautou's gossip to a girlfriend (Sophie Guillemin) and lonely bleating to an innocuous, haplessly smitten male classmate (Clement Sibony) who just wants to be near her.

Continue reading: He Loves Me Review

With A Friend Like Harry Review


Very Good

While the Hollywood assembly line cranks out more and more formulaic, cookie-cutter psycho movies about slashers, stalkers and serial killers, a hit French thriller has slipped in under the radar, so sublimely subtle and tangible it makes "The Talented Mr. Ripley" look like a dog and pony show.

The film is called "With a Friend Like Harry" and the title character has an M.O. similar to Tom Ripley's -- he elbows his way into the life of an old classmate who doesn't remember him. But Harry (Sergi Lopez) certainly remembers -- scratch that -- has memorized everything about Michel (Laurent Lucas), a man he hasn't seen in 20 years.

The two of them meet by chance in a service station bathroom as Michel and his family are on their way to their fixer-upper country cottage for a vacation. By way of offering Michel's kids and wife a ride in his air-conditioned Mercedes on this stiflingly hot day, Harry invites himself and his sumptuous young fiancée Plum (Sophie Guillemin, "L'ennui") along on this family vacation.

Continue reading: With A Friend Like Harry Review

L'ennui Review


Weak

A "Lolita"-like story of a middle-aged man's sexual obsession with a 17-year-old girl, "L'Ennui" gets repetitive in a big hurry.

Charles Berling ("Ridicule," "Dry Cleaning") stars as Martin, a 40-ish philosophy teacher who drives himself to the brink of insanity trying to possess his indifferent young lover, Cecilia (Sophie Guillemin), who is so emotionally detached that she can't even explain why she sleeps with him. She just does -- about 20 times in the course of the movie, occasionally showing a glimmer of gratification, but more frequently moaning a little, kissing him on the cheek and saying goodbye.

Cecilia is a maddening enigma to Martin only because she's intellectually underdeveloped and can't express herself to his satisfaction. As he becomes overwhelmed by his desire, the movie falls into a looping pattern of sexual rendezvous mixed with scenes of Martin following Cecilia, Martin phoning Cecilia and Martin pulling his hair out over Celilia's nonchalant attitude toward their relationship -- and her affair with another man. She sees no conflict. Martin, of course, does.

Continue reading: L'ennui Review

Sophie Guillemin

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'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

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Drake Launches Intense New Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

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Sophie Guillemin Movies

My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete en Friche] Movie Review

My Afternoons With Margueritte [La Tete en Friche] Movie Review

Small but perfectly formed, this unassuming French comedy is smart, emotionally engaging and often very...

With a Friend Like Harry Movie Review

With a Friend Like Harry Movie Review

Filled with a tantalizing air of suspense, With a Friend Like Harry is an unusual...

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He Loves Me Movie Review

He Loves Me Movie Review

Throughout the first half of "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" -- a deceptive...

With A Friend Like Harry Movie Review

With A Friend Like Harry Movie Review

While the Hollywood assembly line cranks out more and more formulaic, cookie-cutter psycho movies about...

L'ennui Movie Review

L'ennui Movie Review

A "Lolita"-like story of a middle-aged man's sexual obsession with a 17-year-old girl, "L'Ennui" gets...

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