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Timbuktu – Abderrahmane Sissako

Monday night, the Paris-based international press presented Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu with the Prix Lumière for both best film and best director. It was a fitting reward for a film depicting the effect of a group of Islamist fundamentalists on the people of the city which deftly avoids reducing a complicated situation into a simple battle…

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Sissako’s Timbuktu wins coveted Prix Lumière for Best Film

Franco-Mauritanian film Timbuktu directed by Abderrahmane Sissako won the Prix Lumière for Best Film on Monday night at a ceremony dubbed the French Golden Globes. The international press based in Paris also awarded Sissako the Best Director prize. Timbuktu faced stiff competiton for best filim including Celine Sciamma’s Bande de Filles and Saint Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello.…

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20th Cérémonie des Lumières – French Golden Globes

Dubbed the French Golden Globes, the Cérémonie des Lumières on Monday night will honour the best in French-speaking cinema over the past year as decided by the international press based in Paris  The most nominated films include Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, Benoît Jacquot’s Trois Cœurs and La Famille Bélier with four nominations each. Interestingly two young actors are both nominated for best…

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Discount – Louis-Julien Petit

Widely tagged as a Ken Loach-style social drama, Louis-Julien Petit’s Discount is a hard-hitting look at the day-to-day reality in France for millions of ordinary people, as far removed from the image of the country as the last word in fine living as it’s possiblle to get. All credit to Petit who has opted with…

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Loin des Hommes (Far from Men) – David Oelhoffen

Based on the Albert Camus short story L’Hôte, David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes is a haunting, majestic, moral tale set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of North Africa’s Atlas mountains and the Algerian war of independence during the 1950s.  Vitto Mortensen displays admirable linguistic skills by adding French and Arabic to other foreign languages he has…

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Les Souvenirs – Jean-Paul Rouve

Actor/director Jean-Paul Rouve’s Les Souvenirs is a syrupy, lightweight drama based on the novel by David Foenkinos which deals with the problems faced by people at opposite ends of adult life.  Romain (Mathieu Spinosi) is a 23-year-old student seeking the love of his life while his 85-year-old grandmother (Annie Cordy) is stuggling to find meaning to…

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2014 Top Ten Best French Films

As 2015 gets underway, it’s never too late to look back at the best of French cinema in 2014. Here is French Cinema Review’s 2014 Top 10 French films. It’s a list of my personal favourites. Feel free to create a list of those French films you most enjoyed in 2014.     #1 Les…

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L’Affaire SK 1 – Frédéric Tellier

For his first full-length feature, Frédéric Tellier revisits the true story of the ‘Beast of the Bastille’ who murdered seven young woman in the French capital between January 1991 and November 1997. L’Affaire SK1 (Serial Killer 1) is a sombre, behind-the-scenes look at the police investigation which led to the eventual arrest of Guy Georges (Adama…

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Valentin Valentin – Pascal Thomas

Veteran director Pascal Thomas clearly has a taste for adapting novels by a particular brand of British crime writer. He has already filmed four novels by the Grand Dame of British crime fiction Agatha Christie – By the Pricking of my Thumbs, Towards Zero, Crime is Our Business and Partners in Crime. He now turns…