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Une Mère – Christine Carrière

Christine Carrière’s Une Mère is a heavy-handed, depressing film which raises the question of the durability of maternal love when pushed to the limit.  This tale of a 16-year-old deliquant youth, set on a path of self-destruction, bears unfavourable comparison to Emmanuelle’s Bercot’s La Tete Haute (Standing Tall) which opened this year’s Cannes Film Festival to…

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Un Moment d’égarement (One Wild Moment) – Jean-François Richet

Jean-François Richet’s entertaining remake of Claude Berri’s 1977 film is bang up-to-date with mobile phones, selfies, beach raves and Vincent Cassel and François Cluzet as the two fathers in charge of their libidinous teenage daughters during the long summer vacation. Cassel, who worked with Richet on the Jacques Mesrine films, (Killer Instinct and Public Enemy…

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La Résistance de l’Air – Fred Grivois

For his debut feature Fred Grivois has called on the talent of successful French scriptwriters Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré. The duo were responsible for Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan which took the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  Bidegain also wrote Audiard’s award winning Un Prophète and De Rouille et d’Os and has recently…

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Valley of Love – Guillaume Nicloux

Ghost story, love story or even metaphysical thriller Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love,  in competition at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, is an eclectic mix of genres held together beautifully by French icons Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert. These two have not been together on screen for 35 years when they played lovers in Maurice Pialat’s Loulou…

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Comme un Avion (The Sweet Escape) – Bruno Podalydès

There’s a definite whiff of Wes Anderson about actor/director Bruno Podalydès Comme Un Avion, the first film where he pushes aside his younger sibling Denis to take on the lead role himself to great effect. It a delightful film, full of subtle humour which swings between absurd, surreal comedy and Jacques Tatiesque gentle slapstick.  There’s…

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Un Français – Diastème

After a hate campaign on social media and a drastic reduction in the number of cinemas showing the film, audiences can now judge for themselves whether Un Français directed by Patrick Asté, aka Diastème, deserved the negative publicity. It’s easy to understand why the film was disliked by certain extremist groups with its less than…

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Qui c’est Les Plus Fortes – Charlotte de Turckheim

Charlotte de Turckheim’s last directorial stint Mince Alors (Big is Beautiful) took over 1.5 million at the box office with its storyline of female bonding at a weight-loss spa in southern France. Turckheim is back with the same focus on female solidarity in Qui c’est Les Plus Fortes based on Clément Koch’s 2011 hit play Sunderland.  Turckheim has…

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Cinemas pull out of screening French skinhead film, Un Francais

Just days before its general release in France and Un Français, the film directed by Patrick Asté aka Diastème, has sparked a row over its violent content and depiction of the far-right movement in France with the director and lead actor claiming they have received threats from extremist groups.  Dubbed France’s answer to Tony Kaye’s American History X,…