Desplechin film to open Cannes Film Festival

The organisers of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival have unveiled this year’s contenders for the much coveted Palme d’Or. With a jury headed by Pedro Almodóvar, a festival regular who has had six film in competiton over the past few years without ever winning the top prize, the festival kicks-off with Arnaud Desplechin‘s Marion Cotillard-led Ismael’s Ghosts. Desplechin’s Trois…

A Bras Ouverts  (With Open Arms) – Philippe de Chauveron

Philippe de Chauveron hit box-office gold with Serial ‘Bad’ Weddings in 2014. With over 12 million admissions it was the year’s most popular French film.  Its overtly rascist humour was too much for anglophone audiences and the film was not picked up by distributors either in the UK or the US.  But this didn’t stop…

Telle mère, Telle fille (Like mother, Like daughter) – Noémie Saglio

Director Noémie Saglio and actress Camille Cottin make a formidable team. Cottin has appeared in Saglio’s last three films – Toute Première Fois, Harry Me – The Royal Bitch of Buckingham and this latest outing-  Telle Mère, Telle Fille.  Harry Me, a toe-curling series of candid-camera gags was a box office success in France with…

Sage Femme (The Midwife) – Martin Provost

Director Martin Provost continues to focus on female relationships in his latest film Sage Femme which brings together for the first time two of France’s most seasoned actresses – Catherine Deneuve (La Tete Haute) and Catherine Frot (Marguerite). After wowing critics with Séraphine in 2008, Provosts’s Sage Femme is a disappointingly dull film which lacks a…

Stars turn out for Cézanne et Moi New York premiere

by Paula Schwartz. Diane von Furstenberg hosted the New York premiere of “Cézanne et Moi,” Wednesday evening at the elegant new Whitby Hotel in midtown Manhattan. As you’d expect, the starry event was attended by A-listers in both fashion and art.  “Cézanne et Moi,” is a luscious period piece written and directed by veteran French…

L’Embarras du Choix – Eric Lavaine

Director Eric Lavaine’s L’Embarras du Choix is a formulaic romantic comedy more at home on the small screen than deserving of the full cinema treatment.  It follows the box-office success of Lavaine’s last stint in the director’s chair, Retour Chez Ma Mere, and redrafts the same lead actress Alexandre Lamy.  L’Embarras du Choix sits neatly…

Chacun Sa Vie – Claude Lelouche

Veteran director Claude Lelouche turns 80 in October and has struggled in recent years to find the form which earned him an Oscar for A Man and a Woman in 1967.  His last film, Un + Une, a quirky romantic comedy set in India with Jean Dujardin and Elza Zylberstein in the lead roles, saw a partial…

Are French comedy films funny?

What should non-French speakers expect from a subtitled French comedy? Will we ‘get’ the jokes and humour? Will we follow the plot and the narrative? Will we warm to the characters? Instead of wondering whether or not we’ll enjoy these films, maybe we should expand our horizons and simply give them a chance. So here’s…

The Oscar-nominated actors from French cinema

This Sunday marks one of the biggest dates on the global cinema calendar – The Academy Awards, or The Oscars, as they are more widely-known. The awards unite the creme-de-la-creme from international cinema, and celebrates the very best work of actors, actresses, directors and producers. This year’s nominees include Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Ryan…

Rock’n Roll – Guillaume Canet

Guillaume Canet’s Rock’n’ Roll is a fine example of a genre of film not often seen from French directors. In addition, this self-parodying film comes from an actor/director not well-known for his pure comic talent.  Canet is more often seen in taut thrillers like La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai le Coeur or L’Homme qu’on Aimait…