Yolande Moreau

Yolande Moreau

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In the House [Dans la Maison] Review


Excellent

With Ozon's usual sharp writing and direction, this black comedy is a fabulous series of provocations, challenging us to explore how we see, or perhaps imagine, the people in our lives. It's also a playful exploration of the nature of storytelling itself, using a teacher-student relationship to reveal all kinds of uncomfortable truths.

The teacher and student in question are Germain (Luchini), who's tired of teaching literature to illiterate students, and shy 16-year-old Claude (Umhauer), a gifted young writer. His essays spark Germain's imagination because they continue on from each other to serialise his encounters with the family of his friend Rapha (Ughetto). As Claude writes about flirting with Rapha's mum (Sagnier) or becoming pals with his dad (Menochet), Germain becomes gripped by the story. And so does his wife Jeanne (Scott Thomas), who sees this as a wonderful escape from the mundane pressures in her life. But in a private tutoring session with Claude, Germain crosses an ethical line. And things start to get strange.

Writer-director Ozon is wickedly blurring the line between fact and fiction, as everyone who reads Claude's essays imagines the people in ways that fuel their own fantasies. So events unfold through a variety of perspectives, some of which must surely be imagined, especially as Germain and Claude adjust the characters to reveal hidden secrets. Yes, this brings out the voyeuristic tendencies in all of the characters, and in us as well, since we too are living vicariously through people whose lives seem so much more interesting than ours. Even if they are supposed to be us.

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Mammuth Review


Good
Mixing warm drama with hilariously deadpan comedy, this is one of the most unusual road movies you'll ever see. But the filmmakers' approach is clever, artful and often very funny as it makes profound observations about human nature.

Serge (Depardieu), better known as Mammuth, is a long-haired biker dude who has retired from working in a slaughterhouse. His sharp-tongued wife Catherine (Moreau) has no idea how he'll fill his time and, when his pension doesn't come through, she starts to worry that her supermarket job isn't enough to make ends meet. So he dusts off his old motorbike and heads off in search of the papers he needs to claim his pension. But riding it sparks memories of his lost love (Adjani), who haunts him as he travels from town to town.

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Gainsbourg Trailer


Parisian songwriter and director Serge Gainsbourg was a legend known all around the world, for many differing reasons his work was usually surrounded by controversy which was mostly welcomed by the man himself.

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Micmacs Trailer


When Bazil is hit in the head by a stray bullet, it's a surprise to everyone that he's survived the freak accident. The doctors manage to save Bazil from death but he's left knowing that death could come knocking at his door anytime soon.

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Micmacs [Micmacs a Tire-larigot] Review


Good
Back in Amelie mode, Jeunet creates a wonderfully entertaining romp about a group of outsiders and manages to slip in an extremely subtle political jab amid the wacky slapstick and almost obsessive attention to detail. It's a bit silly, but it's also great fun.

After being shot by an errant bullet, Bazil (Boon) becomes homeless. Taken in by the Micmacs, seven misfits living in a secret lair under a rubbish heap, he discovers that rival Parisian arms dealers manufactured the bullet that hit him and the landmine that killed his father when he was a child. As he plots his revenge, his new friends all want in on the plan, so they set about inventively using their salvage to get the company owners (Dussollier and Marie) to square off against each other.

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The Beaches of Agnes [Les Plages d'Agnes] Review


Excellent
Varda brings a playful attitude to this whimsical stroll through her life, telling stories and showing photos and clips that chronicle both her career and her personal life. It meanders a bit, but it's also thoroughly engaging.

As she celebrates her 80th birthday, the iconic French filmmaker compiles an impressionistic collage of photographs, home movies, new scenes and clips from the classic films she had a hand in. She recounts her career alongside Godard and the Nouvelle Vague, and links her memories together with beaches from near her birthplace in Belgium to Los Angeles by way of Cuba and Cannes. She also installs a beach on a Paris street, occupied by female members of her staff.

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Séraphine Review


Good
As French na?ve painter Séraphine Louis, Yolande Moreau dominates Martin Provost's Séraphine like Séraphine's "secret red" color dominates her emotionally pure canvases splashed with flowers and fruits.

Moreau is by turns frumpy, impish, poetic and beatific in her portrayal of the innocent, doomed artist. The actress soaks in the beauty of Provost's mannered compositions, and her expressions of unmediated rapture at the sublime countryside around her infuses the film with the religious ecstasy of pure artistic creation. Séraphine advises a character in the film, "When I feel bad I go for a walk in the country and I touch the trees and I talk to the birds, the flowers, the insects... and I feel better." As Séraphine, Moreau makes a strong case for modern day pantheism as a cure for all our daily woes.

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The Last Mistress Review


Excellent
After years of lascivious experiments and audience-bludgeoning anti-romances, French provocateur Catherine Breillat pulls an unexpectedly engrossing and lurid film out of Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly's 19th-century novel Un Vieille Maitresse, the tale of a French dandy and the 36-year-old "Old Mistress" whom he attempts to do away with before he marries the daughter of famed nobility. Breillat's latest presents not only one of the great performances of this year and the director's most accessible work to date, but also introduces a character of true lustful ferocity unlike few before: a venomous madame who makes Anne Boleyn look like Anne of Green Gables.

Her name is Vellini (Asia Argento). It's rumored she's the flamboyant progeny of an Italian priestess and a Spanish matador. She licks fresh blood off of gaping wounds. The ringlets of her hair resemble a heart turned on its head. It's said she can outstare the sun and the second you get your first glimpse at Argento laying on her canapé, you believe it sans aucun doute. Though he first casts her off as an "ugly mutt," the young playboy Ryno de Marigny (Fu'ad Aït Aattou) takes it as his task to possess this creature despite her blatant loathing of him. Eventually they exile themselves to Argentina and bear a daughter, only to see her die from the sting of a scorpion. Unchained and thrown into an abyss of grief, Argento's bellowing growl of despair could shred the very screen.

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Amelie Review


Essential
After only a few films have I been left with an indelible sense of wonder and amazement. After watching the stunning and beautiful Amelie, I've been struck again. This is truly a touching, honest, emotional roller coaster ride, equipped with powerful but subtle scenes of unrequited love, comfortable loneliness, visual wonder, imaginary worlds, and phantom characters guarding the hearts and souls of their mental caretakers.

Amelie delivers the goods on all levels, with crafty storytelling, superb acting, and clever directing. The film follows the exploits of the young Amelie (Audrey Tautou), a shy, introverted girl with a dysfunctional past who lives alone in a small apartment in Paris. Amelie spends her days working at a local Parisian café, pines for the love of a strange boy who stalks the instant-photo booths of the Metro, and silently observes the lives of her neighbors.

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Yolande Moreau

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