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Bande de Filles (Girlhood) – Céline Sciamma

Widely praised at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles lives up to expectations with an emotionally-charged, vibrant tale of four young women living in one of France’s notorious housing estates just to the north of  Paris. Sciamma brings an authenticity to her film by avoiding cliché and caricature and searching beyond the…


Vie Sauvage – Cédric Kahn

Award winning director Cédric Kahn’s Vie Sauvage (Wild Life) is an intriguing film based on a true story which defies expectations and raises several questions over the issue of child rearing in a techology-obsessed society. It also challenges the idea of the superiority of the mother-child bond and presents a compelling argument for greater acknowledgement…


Geronimo – Tony Gatlif

The opening scene of a young woman in a wedding dress running for her life sets the tone of Tony Gatlif’s Geronimo, a high-energy, vibrant story of clan rivalry set in the south of France.  The director uses an hypnotic mix of dance and music, professional and non-professional actors, set against the heat of a…


Samba – Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache

It’s a tough act to follow. Intouchables took 332 million euros worldwide and made a star of Omar Sy.  Directors Eric Toledana and Olivier Nakache have kept to a winning formula by again casting Sy in the lead role, but Samba lacks the magic ingredient that made Intouchables such a big hit. Its stellar cast including Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar…


Papa was not a Rolling Stone – Sylvie Ohayon

For her first outing as director Sylvie Ohayon has adapted her autobiographical novel, Papa was not a Rolling Stone, to the big screen. It’s a coming-of-age film set in the notorious 4000 housing estate in La Courneuve on the outskirts of Paris which pulls no punches in it depiction of how grim life was back…


Coming up – Samba

Following huge success of Intouchables,  Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano reunite with Omar Sy for Samba the struggle of a Senegalese immigrant in France. Also starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahim. Check out the review of the film this week on French Cinema Review.  


Tu Veux ou Tu Veux Pas – Tonie Marshall

It’s hard to believe the award winning director of Vénus Beauté (institut) is the same person behind the lazy, romantic comedy Tu Veux ou Tu Veux Pas, a train-crash of a film which stretches credibility to the limit and throws together the sadly mismatched Sophie Marceau and Patrick Bruel as the romantic leads. There is…


Elle l’Adore – Jeanne Herry

Jeanne Herry hits the bull’s eye for her first time out as director with the clever, funny thriller, Elle l’Adore, which pairs the hugely talented Sandrine Kiberlain with classically- trained actor Laurent Lafitte.  A witty script, a storyline that keeps the audience guessing until the credits roll and a cast of well-developed secondary characters, made…


Saint Laurent – Bertrand Bonello

Two films within the space of a year about the man behind Mondrian dresses and Le Smoking suggests Yves Saint Laurent was much more than a gifted fashion designer and a finger-on-the-pulse trendsetter.  But neither Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent or this latest offering from Bertrand Bonello adequately explain the fascination with a man whose…


Agnès Varda – Cléo de 5 à 7 revisited

Far removed from the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood-style celebrity interview, legendary film director Agnès Varda relaxes comfortably in a large garden in the west of Paris to talk about her masterpiece Cléo de 5 à 7 at an event to launch a remastered version of the film sponsored by luxury goods firm, LVMH. At 86-years-of-age,…