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Tout pour être Heureux – Cyril Gelblat

Cyril Gelblat’s bitter-sweet romantic comedy is lifted out of the ordinary by the touching performance of Manu Payet as Antoine, a fortyish failed musician forced to face up to his adult responsibilities.  It’s a coming of age film with a twist.  Antoine’s passage into maturity comes late but is as painful and poignant as any…

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Cannes reveals 20 festival films

The organisers of the 69th Cannes Film Festival have announced the 20 films in competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or awarded by a jury led by Mad Max director George Miller. Four French directors have films in competition – Olivier Assayas, Bruno Dumont, Alain Guiraudie and Nicole Garcia.  Garcia is also one of three female directors presenting a film at…

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Quand on a 17 ans (Being 17) – André Téchiné

After 2014’s In the Name of my Daughter, based on the true story of the unsolved disappearance of heiress Agnès Le Roux, veteran director André Téchiné is back on fictional ground with Quand On a 17 Ans. And he has delivered one of his best films to date.  Premiered at this year’s Berlin Film festival, it’s…

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Five – Igor Gotesman

For audiences who like their comedy on the crude side with plenty of off-colour sexual references, endless scenes of dope smoking and even a modicum of scatalogical humour then Igor Gotesman’s directoral debut is just the ticket.  But disappointment awaits those attracted by the presence of Pierre Niney, formerly of the prestigious La Comédie Française,…

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Marseille – Kad Merad

Dubbed the southern France version of the hit film Bienvenu Chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks), Kad Merad’s third directorial feature is a tangled mess of half-baked ideas and errant storylines.  Doubtless conceived out of a love for the sprawling, ethnically mixed, vibrant city of Marseille, his film lacks focus and heart despite its…

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Films to watch in April – Clavier and Reno star in Les Visiteurs 3

LES VISITEURS – LA REVOLUTION – JEAN-MARIE POIRE It’s taken Jean-Marie Poiré 18 years to direct the third in his series of Les Visiteurs films. The first, back in 1993 introduced Jean Reno as Comte Godefroy de Montmirail and Christian Clavier as Jacquouille la Fripouille to cinema audiences and was a massive hit in France with over 13…

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Médecin de Campagne (Irreplaceable) – Thomas Lilti

Doctor-turned-director Thomas Lilti seems to be leading a one-man cinematic campaign highlighting the threats facing the French health system.  After Hippocrate, a no-nonsense look at life for a young intern at a Paris hospital,  Lilti now turns his attention to the dwindling number of doctors drawn to the often difficult life of a rural practice.…

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Stars line up for Cannes Film Festival 2016

  With two months still to go before the start of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, news is beginning to trickle in as to who will grace this year’s Croisette and climb the famous red-carpet outside the Grand Palais. Jodie Foster will be there accompanied by lead actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts for her…

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Au Nom de ma Fille (Kalinka) – Vincent Garenq

Sticking with a winning formula, Vincent Garenq once again turns to real life events for his latest film, Au Nom de Ma Fille (Kalinka), the story of one man’s 27 year struggle to bring to justice the man he believed murdered his daughter. In his first serious drama since 2013’s Avant l’Hiver, Daniel Auteuil is…

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Saint Amour – Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine

Kervern and Delépine’s highly-accomplished, multi-layered, surreal comedy Saint Amour should go some way to restoring Gérard Depardieu as one of France’s greatest actors.  His moving performance in Valley of Love opposite Isabelle Huppert was a show-stopper.  But here he adds weight, literally, to the role of Jean, a father desperately trying to connect with his…