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Le Ciel Attendra – Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar. 

  For Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s fourth film, the director uses a subject taken straight from the news headlines to explore the phenomenon of the thousands of young French women leaving home to join the ranks of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Just as with her last film, Les Heritiers, which used the backdrop…

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Kristen Stewart reunites with Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper

by Paula Schwartz Kristen Stewart and French director Olivier Assayas joined forces again in Personal Shopper, one of three films starring Stewart screening at the New York Film Festival. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and earned Assayas the Best Director award which he shared with director Cristian Mungui. Stewart and Assays had great success…

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L’Outsider – Christophe Barratier

It’s difficult to see the interest in rehashing the highly-mediatised story of rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel who famously lost French bank Société Générale 4.9 billion euros during 2007 and 2008. But director Christophe Barratier has taken a shot with L’Outsider.  In line with recent US films like The Big Short or even Scorsese’s The Wolf…

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Retour Chez Ma Mère – Eric Lavaine

Director Eric Lavaine has followed up his successful 2014 film Barbecue with this banal, flat comedy which fairly reeks of missed opportunity. There are some sharp observations about internet techno-babble and how it has slipped into common usuage for the younger generation leaving behind a confused, older population.  But the basic back story of a…

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Cannes Film Festival – Ma Loute (Slack Bay) – Bruno Dumont

Bruno Dumont’s Ma Loute, in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, is an irritating mix of slap-stick comedy, outrageous overacting and surreal imagery underpinned with a dash of social realism. Described as one of France’s most important contemporary film makers, Dumont’s art-house, radical style is certainly not to everyone’s taste. Ma Loute bombards the…

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Un Homme à la Hauteur (Up for Love) –  Laurent Tirard

Jean Dujardin is one of France’s most bankable and popular comic actors. From his Oscar-winning performance in The Artist, which gained him entry to Hollywood’s George Clooney-led A-list, to the recent crowd-pleasing Un Plus Une, he often chooses films which play up his cheeky, boyish charm. Un Homme à la Hauteur is no exception and…

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Adopte a Veuf – François Desagnat

Director François Desagnat tries to surf the current trend of flat-sharing – a relatively new concept in France, but one that is gaining ground among the younger generation – for his pedestrian comedy which relies on tried and tested formula for laughs. The title is a riff on the name of the popular French dating…

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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…