SIBYL (2019)

A film by  Justine Triet

Cast:  Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Laure Calamy

The film is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2019Sibyl is a novelist reconverted into a psychoanalyst. Caught up by the desire to write, she decides to leave most of her patients. As she searches for inspiration, Margot, a young actress in distress, begs her to receive her. Margot is in a middle of making a film , she is pregnant with the main actor … who is in a relationship with the director of the film. While she exposes her passionate dilemma, Sibyl, fascinated, record her on her cell phone secretly. The words of her patient nourishes her novel and takes her back in her past. When Margot implores Sibyl to join her in Stromboli for the end of the shoot, everything accelerates at a vertiginous pace …

Sibyl (Virginie Efira) mother, sober for years from alcohol decide to ditch her patient to write an other Novel, after all she was a successful write at one time. She goes to alcoholic anonymous weekly, has her circle of friends as well as a boyfriend. At first when Sibyl receives Margot she fells like she is the mother that has to nourish her child as well as to protect her. That is the first act. The she goes on this island now sibyl has new rules that she has to obey from the director Mika (Sandra Hüller) plus in between there are the flashback of the life of sibyl from time to time. Here is a novelist who is going to have a melt down. Terrific acting from Exarchopoulos and Efira who are plugging themselves in a waterfall of emotions not an easy thing to do. Terrific directing from Justine Triet who directed Vitoria previously.

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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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PRIS DE COURT (2017)

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A film by Emmanuelle Cuau

Cast: Virginie Efira, Gilbert Melki, Renan Prevot

English: Not on my watch

Nathalie is a jeweler and has just moved to Paris for a new job and a new life with her two sons. But the jeweller suddenly changes their mind and tells her  that the position will not be for her. Nathalie wants to protect her children and decides not to tell them anything. This lies will give birth to other lies on both sides. May the fiesta of lies begins.. …

First I knows for a fact not too many people will like this film. But here Cuau is a talented director in telling the story with a realism into it. The filmmaker once again demonstrates, with a very limited budget, the extent of her skill at subtly, with a few stroke making her characters’ behaviour seem real skilfully executing  the rhythm of the narration and getting the best out of her outstanding actors. Virginie Efira, who carries the film exceptionally well and may I add what a joy to see Gilbert Melki delivering an outstanding performance as usual. The film is filmed with finesse and edited with scientific cadence is a slow cooker thriller here which the director accomplished the portrayal of this family that is solid and affectionate which will bring them to the brink of fear of this cruel world until they are almost on the verge of the point of no return here Natalie thinks of a solution to get them out. The thing here Emmanuelle Cuau deserves to have more money to make the most of her potential.

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VICTORIA (2016)

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A film by Justine Triet

Cast: Laure Calamy, Virginie Efira, Jacques

Victoria is a thirty-something divorced lawyer who’s struggling to raise her two daughters. She is canny and cynical but on the verge of an emotional breakdown.At a friend’s wedding a little incident happens a friend of hers stabs his girlfriend in the stomach, later he wants her to defend him but Victoria refuses well……

Victoria is out of her games as she does not know too much about parenting due to the fact she is working a bit much. She is disorganized her apartment is a mess and she hire various baby sitters. Well she also dates different guys every time and has very little time to herself let along her children. As she is going to defend her friend Vincent (Melvil Poupaud) she is going down in a spiral with no end which the nervous breakdown will appear soon. To top it all off her ex his showing up harassing her. Even hire a former drug dealer who has no home to baby sit her children what more can happen?

Here is a  tight script, a simple and elegant mise-en-scène, well-balanced and inventive humour that shifts left to right. You in life the right person in your life could be right in the front of your nose like Victoria is going to find out after here breakdown but will she really mess it up or get it? She has a lot on her plate and trying to keep it together. Here is a film whose specification is perfectly executed.

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ELLE (2016)

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A film by Paul Verhoeven

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Virginie Efira, Christian Berkel

At the head of a video game development company, Michelle is a self-taught, authoritative and independent woman who lets nothing and no one to dictate her conduct. Until she was raped in her home by a masked man. She said nothing to anyone, continues as if nothing had happened, and the cat and mouse game with the mask man begins…..

The Dutch director kicks off with a woman being raped in her home by a masked man; rather than call the cops afterwards, she simply clears up some broken dishes , takes a bath and sets about getting on with her busy life. Michelle ( Isabelle Huppert) is quiet a woman, she is dead honest, tell it like it is and liken she sees it. She is divorced and has a son who is living with his deranged girlfriend who is expecting a kid. Her mother goes out with a gigolo to top it all off her father is a serial killer. Well then welcome to the family. There are flashback of the rape where there is the fear of the dude coming back. You see Michele is determined to stop the fear by plunging into her work. Here Verhoeven has done a back humored melodrama with a comic tone. Huppert here is on top of her career and does seems to slow down. Her performance here is so perfect it cut like a knife and it is sharp as hell. There is a playful approach towards serious, even controversial  issues and yet provoking.

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LE GOÛT DES MERVEILLES (2015)

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A film by Éric Besnard

Cast: Virginie Efira, Benjamin Lavernhe, Lucie Fagedet

At the heart of the Drôme Provençale, Louise is raising her two children and trying to preserve the family farm, well her husband die and left her the farm.  One evening driving home she almost runs over a man. The man quickly reveals that he si different from most people. And his sense of wonder could change the life of Louise and her family.

We discover at random from an unlikely collision with a car that very quickly the life of Louise and her family will change because of that one incident. The man here disrupt the daily life of this woman and her family well because he himself is a little odd. Some critique killed this film but to me here the film is a little odd and different and sometimes different people does not react well with it. You can not help see the terrific performance from Benjamin Lavernhe (de la Comédie Française) his performance is so naive and yet so truthful. He brings a little breath of fresh air to the relationship. Beyond his spontaneity and his simplicity he is very talented in math and is very good at hacking. Yes there is a sub-plot to ensure a happy ending here. Louise has problem with the bank who wants the property if they can’t get paid. Eric Bernard here is like e poet who is telling us a fairy tale of sort. This film to me his a breath of fresh air , this light comedy of a fairy tale is delightful film that one must not miss.

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CAPRICE (2015)

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A film by Emmanuel Mouret

Cast: Virginie Efira, Anaïs Demoustier, Laurent Stocker

Now the film that Anaïs Demoustier plays in called à trois on y vas is about this ménage a trois. Well she did an other one but a different one this time with Mouret who is our woody Allen who keep on doing romantic comedy and he does them well. Of course it is written by him.

Caprice offers an enjoyable if not entirely memorable ménage à trois between a mild-mannered schoolteacher, a platinum blond actress, and the young wannabe actress who risks pulling them apart. Fifth grade instructor Clement (Mouret) yes he is an actor also cannot put a sentence together when he meet the lovely actress Alicia (Efira), a film and theater star whose nephew he’s been hired to tutor in math. Everything goes well and they embark into this wonderful relationship. A drunken night out with best bud, Thomas (Laurent Stocker),  Clement winds up sleeping with Caprice, who he met during one of Alicia’s shows days earlier. Things becomes complicated because Caprice wants no more than a casual sexual regular relationship. Meanwhile Thomas and Alicia seems to hit it off and suggest that maybe something is going on there.

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Mounter plays his characters almost like woody allen even the story is nothing original but it works here. There is a scene with a coffee cup that is hilarious as hell. Also the one where he breaks his legs and tries to get to his apartment. Demoustier as I said before is shinning here in this one again she seems to get in the right film. She has great chemistry here with Efira. This film feels like a woody Allen film but made in France. There is nothing wrong with that but my guess is to try to find an original idea and make a go of it. Although I enjoyed the film a nice romantic comedy with some french scenery to go with it and yes there is wine drinking in this film after all t is a french film.

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