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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…

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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,…

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3 Coeurs (Three Hearts) – Benoît Jacquot

Benoît Jacquot, the award winning director of Farewell My Queen, has assembled a sterling cast for his tale of love versus lust set in a provincial French town.  Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Benoît Poelvoorde manage to breathe some life into what is a over-long, over-romanticised, over-dramatic story of fickle fate.  But it’s a waste of…

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Bon Rétablissement (Get Well Soon) – Jean Becker

Hot-on-the-heels of Thomas Lilti’s Hippocrate, a no-holds-barred look at the life of a junior doctor in a Parisian hospital, comes veteran director Jean Becker’s Bon Rétablissement which delves into the inner workings of a Parisian hospital as seen from the other side of the fence, i.e, the patient.  Lilti’s film is proving a hit with…

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Gemma Bovery – Anne Fontaine

Fabrice Luchini (The Women on the 6th Floor, In the House) is one of France’s most versatile actors working in both film and theatre and moving from comedy to the Classics with consummate ease. His performance as Martin Joubert in director Anne Fontaine’s Gemma Bovery is one of the highlights of this rather pedestrian adaptation…

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Hippocrate – Thomas Lilti

Thomas Lilti’s Hippocrate is a warts-and-all look at the life of a junior doctor starting his career as an intern in a Parisian hospital and it’s a damning portrait of what is often reputed to be the best health system in the world. Like crisis-ridden countries everywhere, French doctors are having to deal with budget…

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Maintenant ou Jamais – Serge Frydman

Serge Frydman’s Maintenant ou Jamais (Now or Never) is a love story disguised as a thriller with a touch of social commentary thrown in for good measure. While there’s plenty of heat between the two main characters – Juliette (Leila Bekhti) and Manuel (Nicolas Duvauchelle) – neither the love affair nor the bank heist, which…