Posted in French film

LA VILLA (2017)

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A film by Robert Guédiguian

Cast: Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Gérard Meylan

English title: The house by the sea (don’t ask)

When Maurice (Fred Ulysse) suffers a stroke, his middle-aged children come back to the family’s seaside villa near Marseille. The three grown children and friends remembers the past when they were kids. Each carrying his or her own burdens, that they have forgotten which will bring back some good memories and some they would rather forget which is going to help them moving on.

Here is a film with a bunch of friends that will see each other again which they have not seen each other for a long time which they have to be accepting past regrets. Nothing really happens in Guédiguian film there are a lot of moment where people are thinking and you absorb the scene and wonder what they are thinking, some are just looking at each other I call it the silent attraction. The director has his cast down to a T, he uses almost the same actors most of the time. Also he added element of some news today which I like. Here is a terrific film of which they all smoking and someone makes a comment too funny and so French.

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la-villa

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Posted in Belgium Film, French film

TUEURS (2017)

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A film by Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens

Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Lubna Azabal, Kevin Janssens

English title: Above the law. 

A criminal who escape prison who is going to plan one last heist and get out for ever. He performs his heist without a hitch but has as soon as it is started it is doom to fail.

Here the real translation is Killers. It is the first feature for the two director Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens. The protagonist, Frank Valken (Olivier Gourmet), a robber, has just pulled off yet another masterful robbery without a hitch. At least that is what he thinks , but soon after the cops knows his every move. He gets pinched which is the ideal suspect for a bunch of murders that happens 30 years ago. Of course  Frank knows he is set up. The film includes the Belgium’s most famous criminal incidents at the heart of its narrative. The Brabant Killers, which was much talked about in the 1980s. Responsible for  some fifteen break-ins, the Brabant Killers, who had a preference for supermarkets, did not care about leaving bodies in their wake (almost thirty victims),  killing children and seniors. To this day, there are still doubts about the identity of the murderers, and some see it as more than a simple crime, but as a state affair some others thinks that the CIA as something to do with that. 

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The directors here plunge right in the old gangsters school film doing a heist where the robbers does not kill anybody just takes them hostage. Frank believe that he is not a killer a man of principle old school like I said. The film maintain its integrity and knows that along the way there is going to be one way out is killing is going to take place.

The film follows Olivier Gourmet who fit the role perfectly well I do not care what film he is in but I will see all his film eventually I am trying to catch up and what a terrific actor he turned out to be, which he is trying to save his skin and his honour. The rest of the cast is on it as well which brings me that this casting is so perfect it is not even funny. First features for the directors and they did not disappoint. I can’t wait until the next film.

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Posted in French film

LE DEUXIÈME SOUFFLE (1966)

Le Deuxième Souffle

A film by Jean Pierre Melville 

Cast: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin

Three men escaped from Castres prison, including Gustave (Lino Ventura) , known as Gu, who had just spent eight years there. Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) is on their tale while a hold-up is organized …

Yes I was watching tv and bang on Arte my favourite channel this film of 2 hours and 30 minutes comes on and for the second time I am seeing this film, and a great film it is . The title translate as the second breath. The Ricci family dominates the underworld, Headed by Paul (Raymond Pellegrin), in Marseille and Jo (Marcel Bozzufi) has his bar in Paris. Manouche (Christine Fabréga), a classy dame who is Gu’s sister. Now Gu has to hide from the cops that are on his tail. In the meantime a hole up is being set up and they need a fourth guy.

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Jean-Pierre Melville here adapted the novel of José Giovanni in this case Melville is not interested in realism however the book was it was from a real gangster but Melville here invented a character for his film named Gu. Here is Paul Meurisse who wanted to play in this film but wanted his character to be as smart and a wit because Paul was smart as a wit. I love the scene in the club after the shooting where Commissioner Blot (Paul Meurisse) tells them how it happened and who did what. It is so written for Meurisse no doubt. In every film noir there are betrayal and honor but Melville here avoid the clichés . You have everything in this film shooting, robbing an armored truck, Gangsters hiding out, betrayal more shooting, a beautiful dame, whiskey, cigarette smoking a must in film noir back then, two dancing girls number . Melville was crazy about cinema from all over the world especially American cinema. He has done only 16 films before he passed on to the next life. I hope you enjoy this one as I did.

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Posted in French film

M (2017)

M

A film by Sara Forestier

Cast: Sara Forestier, Redouanne Harjane, Jean-Pierre Léaud 

Mo is a beautiful dark brown, charismatic, who has a taste for adrenaline. During illegal underground car race, he meets Lila, who stutter and is shy , and it is love at first sight. He will immediately take her under his wing. But Lila is far from imagining that Mo carries a secret……

I know I know a love story but not the kind you think. Here Is a young lady Lila who is in a group session for people who stutter to top it all off she is shy. When she meet Mo it is love at first sight but she can’t speak to him she is does know him. Two broken people are going to fall in love and it is going to be a challenge. The insensibility of her father does not help and even the fact that Mo ’s family especially her mother who does not love him. Falling in love accepting the other person as they are, living together etc…. It is not an easy thing to do. Even in school where she is making fun of,  here Lila wants to pass the final exam so she can get her diploma but she has to pass the oral part and there is going to be a challenge because she is dead terrified of speaking in a front of stranger. Mo also carried a secret want to tell Lila but can’t he is too a shamed.

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Love as a solution to all social handicaps: the solution may seem childish at first, but Sara Forestier takes care that the tenderness and does not hide an omnipresent dramatic setting. The family conflicts they are  facing  but also the tension of the exam for her and the professional integration for him, are all challenges that will only return them to their respective defensive  behavior: the silence for her, the violence for him. Here the director make sure that love does not resolve people’s problem and handicap. The two great actors here give great energy to this timeless romance.

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Posted in Belgium Film, French film

JEUNE FEMME (2017)

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A film by Léonor Serraille 

Cast: Laetitia Dosch, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Grégoire Monsaingeon

Broke with only her cat and her bag is locked out of her boyfriend’s apartment embark in the adventure in Paris.

Here is the portrait of a young woman who is in Paris knows no one there and tries to get a place to stay and food. Paula (Laetitia Dosh)  is in a hospital where she gets pissed off of why she is in the hospital to which she has been taken after trying to break down the door (with her head) of Joachim, a famous photographer. Suddenly after being back from Mexico her boyfriend does not want to see her anymore so with a cat and her bag at 31 years old  is in Paris all along trying to get a job and a place to stay. But very quickly this exuberant, straight-talking, hyper-social, sharp-tongued and  disturbed young woman is not entirely without resources, and may the adventure begins.

Laetitia Dosch, who  carries the film on her shoulders with here a great script. She gets into a melodrama mode with bits of humour. She meets characters along the way and even is mistaken for someone else in the subway. A woman who is damaged by rejection is going to seek into poverty, you will see how she is resourceful and trying to stay above water. And to top it all off her mother never wants to see her again. Nice one for a first film for Léonor Serraille with hope she will do good if not better in the near future. By the way the tile translation is young woman.

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Jeune femme

 

Posted in French film

LE BRIO (2017)

le brio

A film by Yvan Attal 

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Camélia Jordana, Yasin Houicha

Neïla Salah grew up in Créteil and dreams of becoming a lawyer. Registered at the Parisian university of Assas, she is confronted  the first day by Pierre Mazard, professor known for his provocations and his prejudice conduct . To redeem himself with his conducts he is going to prepare Neïla for the prestigious contest of eloquence. At the same time cynical and demanding, Pierre could become the mentor she needs … Still, they must both overcome their prejudices.

The story is simple: after attacking Neila against a backdrop of racism and xenophobia, the great professor Pierre Mazard finds himself forced by the direction to prepare Neila for the annual eloquence contest to give this contest a little new blood as well as more social and ethnic diversity. You see that later they will need our two  characters are going to need each other in order in succeeding at their project. A beautiful dialogues of words even the phrases and the script is beautifully written. Attal  (Who by the way is also an actor) will tackle different topics: racism, provocation, eloquence, argumentation, immigration without ever dwelling on any. He focuses on the coaching Neila by Pierre. The two actors here deserves each other which bring me to their outstanding job. Brio is an entertaining film that proposes a reflection on the argumentation in particular, on the communication in general and deals with complex human relations if it is.

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Posted in French film

JALOUSE (2017)

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A film by David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos

Cast: Karin Viard, Dara Tombroff, Anne Dorval

English:  Jealous

Nathalie Pêcheux, (Karen Ward) a teacher who is divorced and has a daughter who is a dancer has an unhealthy relation with friends and daughter that is consumed by jealousy.

Nathalie feels the happiness and success of others as an aggression. The blossoming of her daughter’s beauty and youth becomes unbearable at a time when she feels that her life is declining. In addition, while they have always been very close, Mathilde now prefers to go out with her friends, Because she feels that her mother who is a dominant strong woman  abandoned her. So you think that is going to be it and stop there but no our directors do not stop there is more , Nathalie is not well  and has this middle age  crisis at age fifty which she is a  complex character with a thousand facets for which we end up getting affection for. That is the beauty of a well written script.

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Here comes Demoustier  full of life, a  young teacher determined to bring new ideas within the school  where they confront each other and butt heads , are some of the brightest and funniest moments of the film. Setting the stage for a suspenseful narrative that first depicts light crises, then increasingly unpredictable behavior that reaches a growing degree of violence.

Here Karin Ward who has this role tailored for her and is on the top of her game, she is funny and delightful to watch. The cast is tailored to the actress and actor as well it is refreshing and very rarely done in that fashion. Mathilde (Dara Tombroff) who is a former dancer at the Opera of Bordeaux has her first role to my surprise has done an outstanding job here. The film is a bit half angel / half demon with a touch of humanism. 

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