CEUX QUI TRAVAILLE (2019)

A film by  Antoine Russbach

Cast:  Olivier Gourmet, Adèle Bochatay, Elidan Arzoni 

English title: those who works

Senior executive in a large sea freight company, Frank dedicates his life to work. While facing a crisis in a freighter, Frank, alone and in a hurry, takes a decision that costs him his job. Deeply shaken, betrayed by a system to which he gave everything, he is forced to rethink his whole life.

Ceux qui travaille has a realism that captures the ferocity of the world of work. Since his childhood Frank (Olivier Gourmet) has work without complaining as he said to his children at the dinner table. He has climbed the top of the ladder to reach a position that comes with great responsibility at an international freight maritime company and to assure a comfortable situation to his wife and his children. He loves the action at work and has he is on the phone 90 percent of the time dealing and wheeling, passing in a few seconds from French to English, he effectively takes care of the slightest incidents that the ships in his responsibility may encounter. He gets up and goes to work early and leaves late at night. He is a hard working man but one day there is a problem with a cargo  he does the unthinkable to preserve the interest of his employer and the client who wants his merchandise deliver on time. He then looses his job over it which at that moment he is going to feel ashamed of what he has done. Not telling his wife that he got fired goes on to hire a consoler to see if he is interested in doing an other job in a different field. Trying to get hired in others company is going to be tricky. Frank here is both the anti-hero and hero of this story. There are a lot of pressure in this job that Frank is going to miss. There are rules and regulations that comes with this job to get the cargo on time and sometimes Frank break one or two rules in order to get the cargo is on time at his final destination. Here is superbly well acted and well writing film , an intelligent film with a perfect ending.

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AU NOM DE LA TERRE (2019)

A film by  Edouard Bergeon

Cast:  Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon 

English: In the name of the earth.

Pierre is 25 when he returns from Wyoming to find Claire his fiancée and take over the family farm. Twenty years later, the farm expanded, so did the family. It’s the time of happy days, at least at the beginning … The farm has debts and Pierre is trying to stay above water by been over worked. Despite the love of his wife and children, he gradually falls into a deep depression … Built as a family saga, and according to the director’s own story, the film takes a human look at the evolution of the agricultural world of the last 40 years years.

Edouard Bergeon takes a personal angle here since he tells the true story of his father, crushed by the system and died in 1999. It begins with a sweet story, filmed with a retro light in an introductory scene where Pierre, on a motorcycle, drives through the fields to join his fiancée before making love to her passionately. The excitement of this beautiful story will quickly be disrupted by the economic concern, the debt that is going to follow which pushes this farmer played by Guillaume Canet to give everything that he has to his farm to the point of no return.

At the beginning everything is fine and the family was happy, the father of Pierre sold the farm to his son who is going to take over then an event is going to take place when Pierre is going to go crazy. Here the director is telling the story of his father who could not get out of debt which led to his emotional break down. Farmers in France are not making too much money to live on. Most of them borrows money from the bank and get help from the government and hope for the best. However the wife played by Veerle Baetens who is the most courageous tries to keep the family together. You see here Pierre wanted to be an entrepreneur instant of being the farmers he thought by expanding he was going to get out from under but unfortunately all hell broke loose. Outstanding job from the actors. Unfortunately there is a growing concern about farmers and their land. A surprising survey at the end of the film that surprised me.

MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON (2009)

A film by Stéphane Brizé

Cast:  Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Kiberlain, Aure Atika 

Jean is a good person: a good mason, a good son, a good father and a good husband. And in his daily life, between family and work, he crosses the path of Mademoiselle Chambon, the teacher of his son. He is a man of few words, she comes from a different world. They will be overwhelmed by the feelings that they have for each other.

Mademoiselle Chambon uses the language of love , canvas, and architecture . Vincent Lindon ( Jean) is a family man who has a wife and remodels old houses, he is a builder who loves his job and his family. He meet a substitute teacher Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain) who’s life is lonely due to the fact she moves from town to town. The narrative here is about moods, lust, love , and feelings. Stéphane Brizé has adapted Eric Holder’s novel with such a perfect timing. It is about the body language combine with arts and music which both are interested. The two actors is are awesome with great chemistry in playing with their feeling and body language talking and listening to some music. Here is a perfect romantic film done softly with some great classical music.

DEUX MOI (2019)

English title: Someone somewhere

A film by  Cédric Klapisch

Cast:  François Civil, Ana Girardot, Camille Cottin 

A lonely young man who is looking for his cat that a neighbor has giving him when he did not want him but which he can no longer do without, a neighborhood grocery colorful store , and a dance classes that bring hearts and bodies together. Here are two lonely people who are trying to connect with people and you will think that is easy those days with all the apps and dating website to connect with someone but those two keeps on missing each other , and to top it all off they live next door to each other in different building. One has trouble sleeping the other can’t sleep and both sees a psychologist. They both lives boring life and has this daily routine. one is trying to get over her break up with her boyfriend the other is trying to get over his sister’s death. Will they ever meet and fall in love with each other?

Two people who might meet each other two who are depressed and trying to find someone to love in a big city like Paris. Klapish return to the city with this romantic film with humanism, his warm and energetic writing makes the film navigate with sincerity. It is easy to watch, fun at times with two great actors who are able to pull this off. He even shot scene next my my neighborhood. My suggestion take you girlfriend to dinner and later see this film. The director also film not far by my apartment.

LA VIE SCOLAIRE (2019)

A film by  Mehdi Idir, Grand Corps Malade

Cast:  Redouane Bougheraba, Maera Chouaki, Bakary Diombera 

A year in the heart of the school in Saint Denis … and what a big mess! Samia, young CPE novice, arrives from his native Ardèche in a High school deemed difficult in the city of Saint-Denis. She discovers the recurring problems of discipline, the social reality weighing on the neighborhood, but also the incredible vitality and humor of both students and supervisors. Among them, there is Moussa, and Dylan . Samia adapts and soon takes pleasure in channeling the passion of the most disruptive students . Her complicated personal situation naturally brings her closer to Yanis, a lively and intelligent teen. Even if Yanis seems to give up all ambition by hiding behind his insolence, Samia will invest all her energy to divert him from failing school and try to get him to project himself into a better future …

Now, the second film by Mehdi Idir and Fabien Marsaud comes at the right time for the start of the school year as it comes out on the screens during the last week of vacation. They wanted to write about their experience in high school but their experience dated from the 90’s so they had to got back to school to observe students in today’s world. Neither fiction nor documentary, the film holds both, with great accuracy and what a great job they did. The young actors here are outstanding being their first time on camera. The focus is this new CPE (Counselor Education Consultant), she has a lot of ambition for the young students and cares for them but it is not easy to stir them in the right direction. Some of them have troubles at home in their private life and the father is not present most of the time. This film is full of energy and comes to life where it has humor at times. It is not an easy thing to teach those kids. Terrific film by the two directors here now let’s see if the nail their third one. I can’t wait.

ROADS (2019)

A film  Sebastian Schipper

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Stéphane Bak, Ben Chaplin

Gyllen, an 18-year-old boy from London, flees the family vacation in Morocco aboard the motorhome stolen from his father-in-law. On his way, he meets William, a young Congolese of his age who wants to reach Europe in search of his missing brother. They decide to join forces. This improbable duo is making its way through Morocco, Spain and France to Calais, driven by the desire for adventure. As they travel, friendship and trust are going to be settling in between the two teenagers. But they will make difficult decisions will change their lives forever.

Here is an other film from Schipper who directed the film called Victoria. I meet Stéphane bak at an Apple store because it was May the Cannes Film Festival just started and Apple decided to do a bunch of workshops where directors, actors, editors, and graphic artists (who made film posters) was talking about their jobs . So Bak a newcomer in the business who is a comic turned actor was talking to us about this film. Bak was there to show us how to dubbed the animation Spider man: into the spider man verse in French (I prefer the original version) Then we had to give it a try dubbed it ourselves on an ipad. Not an easy thing to do. we had fun that’s for sure. I went to all the workshops in may about cinema. So A friend of mine who was there at the time decided to see Roads and we weren’t disappointed.

Here are two teenagers who are going to meet because one of them is going to steal an RV the one of his step father to trying to see his father. On the other hand the other teenager who is African needs to finds his brother to get him back home. Here is an entirely a different road movie one that sheds light on the plight of refugees in Europe especially in Calais France. There are some twist in the story and it is refreshing to see a different kind of road movie for a change.

CITIES OF LAST THINGS (2019)

A film by  Wi Ding Ho

Cast:  Lu Huang, Hong-Chi Lee, Linda Jui-Chi Liu

Three nights of a man’s life. Three nights to cross an unseen world, which will rocked his existence. He is about to commit the irreparable. But his past will catch up with him …

Forget Hollywood here is a new wave of directors from Asia (Japan, South Korea and China) who are taking risk and reinventing themselves in telling an original story. The Story is  not told in chronological order, We gradually learn what motivate Zhang. Where is it going to make more sense is going to be in the middle of the story when we learn that Zhang is a young married police officer. Where the Americans are multiplying the super heroes movies and remakes because they think there are no more stories to tell, and the European cinema unfortunately is struggling with it. Whatever!!! Here the Asia cinema are getting more and more followers. And for the first time the Korean film named Parasite win the Palme D’or at Cannes. And the latest of Taiwan film named Cities of the last things has catch the attention of other film festival. It is an Asia / French production. 

Thanks to an incredible directing which separate the film in three part, this feature is distinguished by an intense surprise which is very attentive to the details of the story. You can see why more and more people are now following Asian Cinema. The Three parts of the story we are following the protagonist at a different stage and age of his life. Every things seems to indicate that the psychology of the characters is in his past a stroke of genius from the director who loses the audience on the psychologie on a man who is devoured by his bitterness. By following the course of this man over forty years the director let us see how an event can change the destiny of the protagonist. The first part is a bit slow, the second you beginning what drive our protagonist and the third where the action is and will answer all of you questions. The director makes us see and understand about the practices from the future and even today the social network, the cloning, plastic surgery and a drug that makes us young. Here our protagonist is lonely and has no control of his life. We will ask questions about the future and even about the entire planet and be able to identify ourselves in this film. Do not miss this one.