EDMOND (2019)

A film by Alexis Michalik

Cast:  Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner 

December 1897, Paris. Edmond Rostand is in late 20’s but already has two children and a lot on his plate. He has not written anything plays in two years. He then suddenly he proposes to the great Constant Coquelin a new play, a heroic comedy, but has not written it yet. But as he goes along nobody believe in the play. The title: “Cyrano de Bergerac”.

Man what a cool film, it moves fast and you are not going to be bored. Here is a young writer who has writer’s block when suddenly it comes to him through his friend who cannot speak to women and little by little he started to write this play that has to be finish by the end of the year. As the play gets written the actors started to see that they had this beautiful yet successful play. Michalik here adapted this play into the screen beautifully well. It is a joy to see this comedy taking off right from the start. The casting is absolutely unbelievable and fun to watch. It is a story based on a true story on how the play came about. You see Edmond (Thomas Solivérès) who just saw the brothers Lumiére’s first film Edmond though there will be no more play. But he decide to write an other play another masterpiece. Once he got everybody excited he needed some kind of funding and yes you will not believe who produced that play. It all comes together but with many obstacles. The director manages to capture the contagious energy of the actors. Also Michalik does not like to slow the film down. It is an homage to the author and the famous play, it is a declaration of love to the theater, the actors and the magic that shines on the screen. The play Cyrano de Bergerac has been played 20,000 times and the most successful play in France. Do not miss this one.

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LADY WINSLEY (2019)

A film by  Hiner Saleem

Cast:  Mehmet Kurtulus, Ezgi Mola, Senay Gürler

Following the murder of an American author on a small island in Istanbul, an inspector arrives. In this small family community, his investigation and methods will arouse resistance and reveal family secrets …

Hiner Saleem, born in Iraqi Kurdistan, fled the regime of Saddam Hussein when he was seventeen. Refugee in Italy, where he studied at the university, he then moved to France. The twelve feature films he made were often financed by European co-productions. later Hiner Saleem opted for the thriller, transposing its action in the small island of Buyukada, near Istanbul. The choice of shooting on the island in the winter gave the story a fell of a thriller crime atmosphere with tension. Do not get me wrong about this brilliant and elegant film that is reminiscent of the universe of Agatha Christie. Saleem said in an interview he wanted to do a thriller my way, so he put in some comedy into it plus the fact that is a bit off beat. Because during the difficult investigation conducted by the inspector Fergane finds out secrets, and that the local corrupt commissioner is going to slow him down. Mehmet Kurtulus incarnate his character exceptionally well. What I like about it it not a hollywood production he has actors from all walk of life not all good looking and thin. It is more realistic that way. Lady Winsley is a breath of fresh air for a Director whose work has so far been rather confidential.

UN BEAU VOYOU (2018)

A film by  Lucas Bernard

Cast:  Charles Berling, Swann Arlaud, Jennifer Decker

English: A handsome Thief

Commissioner Beffrois waits for retirement with mixed enthusiasm when a bunch of stolen paintings catches his attention. Is it the elegance of the process, the different painting that are stolen, the audacity of the crime or the cat and mouse game that is going to take place. Is the Commissioner going to catch this thief before he retire?

A investigation jubilant in the world of art. It is a surprise for the first film of the year the tone, the dialogue, the story, the chemistry with the actors shot in Paris what more do you want? It looks like a bit from the film to catch a thief from Alfred Hitchcock, rewriting in today’s context. Here is the commissioner who is going to retire soon but is fascinated by the thief who is stealing work of art in the apartments in Paris. He has some issues about his sons who are leaving the apartment and the fact that he is going to retire which he won’t be able to work with his colleague, it looks like he is going to miss that. Charles Berling gives his character a facetious tone, with shining eyes and a quirky humor. Swann Arlaud brings the touch of mystery, discretion and sympathy to his character. You even kind of like him. There are a nice chase on the top of the roof of the apartments in Paris. A nice film by the first time director Lucas Bernard.

DIAMANTINO (2018)

A film by  Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt

Cast: Carloto Cotta, Cleo Tavares, Anabela Moreira

Diamantino is the global icon of football, a flamboyant hero touched by grace. When suddenly, at the World Cup, his genius is vaporized and  his career is at a dead stop . Problem: he knows nothing else. The fallen star, is now the object of national ridicule. He now has more time on his hand to discovers the world. 

Diamantino belongs to this new wave of films that dare to combine humor, science fiction and fantasy and revisit the founding myths (Frankenstein, hybridity, monstrosity, fear of the refugees) with audacity and talent. Film buffs, this film is for you. The directors mix a bunch of stuff in this film but also some issues like the refugee crisis and right-wing propaganda. It is also a story of love and affection. A stroke of genius for the directors Abrantes and schmidt. Plus there are more narratives than that, there are the two government agents, the two evil twin sister who are the sisters of Diamantino, the doctor Lamborghini too funny there. Carloto Cotta here give a sincere performance at playing dumb with a child’s mentality. Diamantino is imaginative, strange, and full of affection and love. It is unlike any other film. 

MAUVAISES HERBES (2018)

A film by  Kheiron

Cast:  Kheiron, Catherine Deneuve, André Dussollier 

English title: Bad seeds 

Waël,(Kheiron) a former street child, lives in the suburbs of Paris, performs small scam with Monique (Catherine Deneuve) a retired woman who lives with him but one day while doing the scam Monique bumps in this old acquaintance a man who she has not seen in 40 years. Victor, (André Dussolier) offers Wael, at the insistence of Monique, a small volunteer job in his center of children excluded from the school system. Wael finds himself gradually responsible for a group of six teenagers expelled for absenteeism, insolence or carrying weapons. A bond will form with the student and may the adventure begin. 

Kheiron again exploits an autobiographical slice to defend the respect and especially the importance of education and the importance to pass it on. a beautiful story is going to be told before your eyes with flashback from time to time. Of course there are humour into it after all it is Kheiron we are talking about. The dialogues here are intelligent and well written, into a nice tight screenplay. Rather than stigmatize the violence of the ghetto, he prefers to emphasize the vitality of the characters and their energy to move forward with a touch of humanity. Also there is the immense pleasure to see Dussollier and Deneuve two great actors on the top of their games here. This terrific mix casting is a joy to see, with a message with can all get along and live among each other. A beautiful lesson of life to share with your friends. 

EN LIBERTÉ (2018)

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A film by Pierre Salvadori

Cast: Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou 

English title: The trouble with you

Yvonne, a young police inspector, discovers that her husband, Captain Santi, a fallen local hero, was not the brave and honest cop that she believed but a true rip-off. Determined to fix this, she will cross the path of Antoine unjustly incarcerated by Santi for eight long years. An unexpected and crazy encounter that will blow their lives away.

Pierre Salvadori offers us an amazing film, explosive, dealing with serious subject matter in light mode, almost humorous or, more accurately “burlesque”. Burlesque is the situation that Yvonne (Adele Haenel) and Antoine (Pio Marmaï) are in. It is about a man sentenced to eight years in prison while he is innocent but want to make for lost time and thinks he deserve it to do whatever he wants. Yvonne who feels guilty when she who is a police officer in an office learns that her husband was on the take. Plus she told great stories about him to her kid before he goes to bed. Yvonne one night after following Antoine meets him accidently.  From there, a strange relationship will form but wait there’s  more she falls in love with someone else. There are some comic scenes here especially the one that when he robs the bank, it is an homage at the silent movies. It is the most hilarious scene in the film trust me. In reality here is that yvonne built this perfect father at the eyes of her son but when she find out that her husband was on the take she has to destroy the image of her husband in order to rebuild it at her son eyes. That is why she is doing what she is doing in the film. I hope I made that clear. Well you’ll see when you see the film. Do not miss this one. Well so far Three great  French comedy in the space of three weeks what the hell is going on?

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En liberté! (2018)

LE GRAND BAIN (2018)

LE GRAND BAIN (2018)

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A film by Gilles Lellouche

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jean-Hugues Anglade,Virginie Efira, Marina Foïs

English title: Sink or swim

It is in the corridors of their municipal swimming pool that Bertrand, Marcus, Simon, Laurent, Thierry and the others train under the relative authority of Delphine, to train in synchronized swimming. Together, they feel free and tell each other their problems. They will put all their energy into this discipline previously owned by women so, yes it’s a weird idea, but this challenge will allow them to find meaning in their lives …

Here is a film from Lellouche who is an actor also but decided to direct this inventive comedy. I love  the scene where they are going to steal the swimsuits (a parody of a heist film with 70’s music ,the funniest part of the film) but also and especially those of synchronized swimming which he manages to perfectly capture the choreography . Lellouche manages to film the mixture of malice and virtuosity of the characters. Here are a group of sad middle age men who are in a middle age crisis who want to find again meaning in their life and  the only way for them is to try to succeed in this competition of synchronized swimming. Here is a group of people who are trying to forget their problem by concentrating in this activity. A cool comedy / feel good movie that is breath of fresh air.

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