L’Odyssée – Jérôme Salle

For a film about a figure as iconic as Jacques Yves Cousteau, Jérôme Salle’s L’Odyssée struggles to get to grips with the man who for television viewers of the late 60s onwards was the last word in underwater documentary making.  While the Americans were exploring space, Cousteau took viewers into the equally unknown and distinctly closer world…

Mal de Pierres (From the land of the Moon) – Nicole Garcia

For her first film in the director’s chair since 2013’s Un Beau Dimanche, Nicole Garcia has adapted Milena Agus’ best selling novel Mal di Pietre and drafted in Academy award winning actress Marion Cotillard and the brooding Louis Garrel in the lead roles.  Beautifully filmed by Christophe Beaucarne who also worked on Coco before Chanel, Mal…

Le Ciel Attendra – Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar. 

  For Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s fourth film, the director uses a subject taken straight from the news headlines to explore the phenomenon of the thousands of young French women leaving home to join the ranks of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Just as with her last film, Les Heritiers, which used the backdrop…

Kristen Stewart reunites with Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper

by Paula Schwartz Kristen Stewart and French director Olivier Assayas joined forces again in Personal Shopper, one of three films starring Stewart screening at the New York Film Festival. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and earned Assayas the Best Director award which he shared with director Cristian Mungui. Stewart and Assays had great success…

L’Outsider – Christophe Barratier

It’s difficult to see the interest in rehashing the highly-mediatised story of rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel who famously lost French bank Société Générale 4.9 billion euros during 2007 and 2008. But director Christophe Barratier has taken a shot with L’Outsider.  In line with recent US films like The Big Short or even Scorsese’s The Wolf…

Retour Chez Ma Mère – Eric Lavaine

Director Eric Lavaine has followed up his successful 2014 film Barbecue with this banal, flat comedy which fairly reeks of missed opportunity. There are some sharp observations about internet techno-babble and how it has slipped into common usuage for the younger generation leaving behind a confused, older population.  But the basic back story of a…

Cannes Film Festival – Ma Loute (Slack Bay) – Bruno Dumont

Bruno Dumont’s Ma Loute, in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is an irritating mix of slap-stick comedy, outrageous overacting and surreal imagery underpinned with a dash of social realism. Described as one of France’s most important contemporary film makers, Dumont’s art-house, radical style is certainly not to everyone’s taste. Ma Loute bombards the…

Un Homme à la Hauteur (Up for Love) –  Laurent Tirard

Jean Dujardin is one of France’s most bankable and popular comic actors. From his Oscar-winning performance in The Artist, which gained him entry to Hollywood’s George Clooney-led A-list, to the recent crowd-pleasing Un Plus Une, he often chooses films which play up his cheeky, boyish charm. Un Homme à la Hauteur is no exception and…

Adopte a Veuf – François Desagnat

Director François Desagnat tries to surf the current trend of flat-sharing – a relatively new concept in France, but one that is gaining ground among the younger generation – for his pedestrian comedy which relies on tried and tested formula for laughs. The title is a riff on the name of the popular French dating…