A film by Emmanuel Finkiel

Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay

English: Memoir of pain

June 1944, France is still under the German occupation. The writer Robert Antelme, major figure of the Resistance, is arrested and deported. His young wife Marguerite, writer and a figure of the resistance also, is torn by the anguish of not having news of him plus she has her secret affair with her comrade Dyonis. She meets a French agent of the Gestapo, Rabier, and, ready to do anything to find her husband. She seek help from an other man will she be able to find her husband and will he be still alive? 

Some of you will not like this film; It is the biography of Marguerite Duras and is a key figure on the French twentieth-century literary scene. Born in French Indochina in 1914, Duras studied and worked in France and lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation, and was in the Résistance. After all she won an Oscar for best original screenplay for the film 1959 film Hiroshima mon amour. But this film is told with a narration of literature. Her book was published in 1985 Memoir of pain finally comes to life at the movies. La Douleur flows like blood in the veins. Finkiel plays on the literary codes with a narration of Mélanie Thierry with a sad and depressing  voice. Thierry is act mostly with her facial expressions. She sees her relationship growing with Rabier. But also with Dionys (Benjamin Biolay). Finkiel allows us to wander, to merge into the spirit of Marguerite Duras. Duras is a faded flower that fights with her latest weapons as a resistant and writer that she is. She leads a troubled life. The film is a slow burner but a little long although I found it nice to watch a different view a view of a woman in search of her husband.







A  film by Albert Dupontel

Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Albert Dupontel, Laurent Lafitte, Mélanie Thierry

English title; See you up there. 

November 1919 two survivors of world war I,  an genius artist, the other an accountant decide to mount a scam in this crazy period of the 1920’s the company will be as dangerous as it is spectacular.

Here is a different war film in the beginning of the 20th century where the war was senseless  and brutal although Dupontel find some humanity and creativity into it. The adaptation of Pierre Lemaitre’s bestseller happily proves that the former comedian is capable of giving us something else than the comedies loaded with black humor that made his success. Based on the reconstruction of the years 1918-1920 . The first quality of its realization is undoubtedly the care brought to the artistic direction to recreate this effervescent historical period I might add it is so well done you think you were there. Whether it is the uniforms worn by the soldiers in the trenches or elegant outfits of the Parisian bourgeoisie, each suit is a purely beautiful. It is the same for the set. Filming in with a digital camera you can feel that you are the period and that it is film on a roll of film from back in the day. The beginning of the film starts in the trenches is very impressive a brutal. Dupontel remained relatively faithful to Lemaitre’s novel, by focusing  on the human drama experienced by the two main characters, played by Nahuel Perez Biscayart and himself. Hopeful he will get a caesar but then again we will have to wait. Overall the ensemble cast forms a magnificent film which it is going to become a classic. Do not miss this one. The translation of the title is Goodbye up there.

« AU REVOIR LÀ-HAUT » Réalisé par Albert DUPONTEL

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A perfect day

A film by Fernando León de Aranoa

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, Mélanie Thierry

The film is set in the Balkans in 1995. Four humanitarian aid workers are confronted with a little problem. They are trying to get a dead body out of the well. You see it is going to contamited the well and the people of this little village are going to be without water if they do not get the body out… but UN rules expressly forbid aid workers from handling corpses. Mambrú (Benicio Del Toro) who failed to retrieve the body due to the fact that the rope broke is going to go on an adventure with B (Tim Robbins) to get rope.

Now you are going to say this is going to be boring, not so this is a small story with unfairnesses and injustices,  one subplot involves a local boy’s search for a new soccer ball that is immediately stolen by big kid bullies. Plus here is a  wonderful cast that infuses their frustrations to make things right. Yes they will be mines on the way, the bureaucracy that they are to deal with, the complicated relationships. Although their journey they will be joking around of course with dark humor. Well if you were on of them in order no to go crazy after the frustration that they have to find rope and deal with the people they will need some comic relief. Spanish filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa who adapted the novel by Paula Farias has made a smart little satire, one that is satisfying in how it paints war itself as ridiculous.




Je ne suis pas un salaud

A  film by Emmanuel Finkiel

Cast: Nicolas Duvauchelle, Mélanie Thierry, Driss Ramdi

English title: A decent man 

Okay I think the tile is going to be a decent man but the traduction is really I am not a bastard.

Having just been injured in a mugging, Eddy (Nicolas Duvauchelle) earned the sympathy and attention of his  family and gotten back on his feet. The same cannot be said for Ahmed whose life starts falling apart after he is accused of the crime.

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Here Finkiel dive in the daily life of this couple who at first is separated get back together because of the aggression. It is an Urban film with full of emotions ,jealousy with a brilliant opening scene served with irony. Here is a man who messed up his family life you do not know too much about it, he is trying to get back on his feet even his wife vouch for him where she works. Eddy is getting frustrated with the job he wants to get promoted to the sales floor as a sales person. Not only that he points out in a line up who is the man who has attacked him. The tension mounts up where Eddie is ready to blow up. Here are two-man one who is accused of the crime and his life takes a turn to the worst which the other man who’s life is going nowhere suddenly gets a boost but pressure gets to be too much. Duvauchelle is on top of his game here as well is Melanie Thierry who is brilliant here. The music is perfect feels like a tone of anxiety in it.

Finkiel uses drama for a  paranoid thriller which has social malaise that leads gradually to the character of Nicolas Duvauchelle, broken personality, alcoholic, but also missed understood  hero , which he will be the victim of a violent assault. A drama where the tension and  the uneasiness will gradually rise up. Finial could end up the film 7 minutes earlier but went out a step further where he did not need too. But seriously so what it is still a great film.

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