Toi et Moi
Julie Lopes-Curval :: France :: 2005 :: 1h30
Writer of a photo-novel-magazine draws inspiration from her and her sister’s troubled romantic lives. She herself -nervously played by Julie Depardieu- is hooked on a noncommittal boyish man, while enduring the advances of handsome workman. Her cello-playing sister -played by the ever charming Marion Cotillard- finds herself living in an uninspired relationship while falling in love with a violin prodigy. The characters are unusually well worked out, even if they suffer somewhat from caricature, bringing an certain credibility to a sketch-type movie, which alternates the sister’s photo-novel images with their real lives. An original concept which led to a very female result with funny moments and easy watching. Whether or not that is enough to convince you to go and see it, is another question. Rest assured, that it is at least better than then poster…
Costa-Gavras :: France :: 2004 :: 2h02
Set in a fictional France resembling our own, Bruno finds himself confronted with the cut-throat competition on the labour market in a take-all consumer society.
Bruno, played brilliantly by José Garcia, literally takes out his competition for a position which he helps liberate in order to be reinstated into the active world. The violence is presented as inherent to the pornographic capitalist dream world, a bubble in which the lucky few breath. The lucky few being an Americanized European middle class living in a tree-lined suburbia with disorientated children watching violent movies and parents mimicking respectability in a Renault Espace. Bruno has lost all sense of morality and wants nothing more than to be an active player in society, one who can respect himself amongst the other men and provide for his family. His managerial schools would have taught him that it is only the bottom line which counts, all means can be used to get to the desired end. A practice which holds brutally in business pushing him out as it will to unethically get him back in the saddle.
Whether or not relocations to the eastern European business paradise cause a scarcity of jobs in the west, or excessive consumer marketing cultures push people to extremes, you are presented here with a daring and masterfully made movie. Highly recommended.
Pierre François Martin-Laval :: France :: 2006 :: 1h30
Young boy proposes to his little girlfriend under the stars, who replies that she will accept on the condition that he goes out into space. Many years later, as an adult and an astronaut, he goes to her house to ask her hand in marriage. When she refuses, he proposes that she tries being with him for 24hours to see how she likes it. Accepting the curious proposal, the childlike man proceeds to try to win her heart. The naive and carefree approach to life and the absurdities which flow from it are the core of this childrens fairytail comicbook. Recommended viewing for the young (at heart) amongst us.
Underworld Evolution (Saga Underworld)
Len Wiseman :: USA :: 2006 :: 1h46
The beautiful vampire-warrior Sélène searches for the origins and potential end to the vampire and werewolf’s epic struggle in this dark, gothic violent world in which she finds herself. Not as bad as the press makes it out to be, but still just a simple cartoon-style action movie with imagery which looks like it comes straight from the video game. Somewhat to its credit, the director put some effort into the story-line, but I must say that he could have tried harder to make the dialogues more meaningful. None the less, an improvement from the last one (there is one more to come). The reasons to take the time to go and watch it would be seeing Kate Beckinsale who plays Sélène in her flattering cat suit and some nice gothic inspired photography (and decor). The poster summarizes up most of the movie. Whether or not that can keep you amused will depend on what you are doing at the same time: it may be best to find some friends, a home cinema and a filled fridge to sit though it.
Sean Ellis :: UK :: 2006 :: 0h18
Young art student works the nightshift in a supermarket, letting his imagination run wild to allow for the passing of time. He imagines the shopers frozen in time, contemplating their beauty in the most aseptic of enviroments. An exceptionally well made short film, which has been transformed into a feature which has yet to be released in France. As it stands, it is as funny and as it is surreal, transposing the viewer into the body of the main character for those few short minutes. An excellent cast with simple but effective photography complete the movie into the little masterpiece that it is.
Bruno Chiche :: France :: 2005 :: 1h40
Teenage author Lolita Pille’s tale of a confused, rebellious, wealthy young girl -nicknamed Hell- who falls into a disastrous relationship with a ditto young man leading their lives, as drugged-up pests, into unhappiness. Even with a lot of goodwill, it is difficult to work your way into the minds of the main characters, who, besides the complexities of adolescent life are just too flat. Sulking and breaking something may be a common trait of frustration, but it does not make worthwhile cinema. The bland characters do, however, fit well into the background… they are supposed to move in privileged Parisian circles which should have been emphasized by choosing truely unique locations. It would have re-enforced the story if the locations both separate and unite us with the characters, to make them one of us but in an inaccessible parallel world. Unfortunately this is not the case, rather, the movie suffers from repetitive scenes which cause boredom rather than atmosphere. It is tempting to suggest that teenage authors should stay just that (or bloggers) rather than attempting the cross over into cinema. Perhaps the movie could have been saved, but then again, perhaps it was doomed from the start. In any case, not enough effort went into this one.
Je vous trouve très beau
Isabelle Mergault :: France :: 2006 :: 1h37
Widowed, simple farmer travels abroad with a marriage councilor to be introduced to a young woman who wants a new life. Together they try to build up a life on his farm. The mild embarrassment of the older man, the somewhat naive but genuine woman’s expectations, sentiments and linguistic troubles stand in their way to happiness. A simple and predictable story with many possible pitfalls… which Ms Mergault cleverly managed to avoid, leaving a finished product which is very funny and sufficiently convincing at the same time. She even managed to fit in some little cinematic peals along the way as interludes. The ironic title and the un-encouraging poster may stop you in your tracks, but persevere – you will be well entertained.