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Le Combat Ordinaire – Laurent Tuel

Laurent Tuel is not the first director to mine France’s long tradition of bande dessinées for inspiration. Some of the more successful cinematic adaptations of popular French graphic novels – Asterix, Lucky Luke and Tintin aside – include Abdellatif Kechiche’s La Vie d”Adele (Blue is the Warmest Colour), the winner of the Palme d’Or at…

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Microbe et Gasoil – Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry is the multi-talented director behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the 1994 Levi drugstore ad which holds the record for the most awards for a TV commercial. Yet his latest film, Microbe et Gasoil displays none of his trademark whimsy and other worldliness and is a flat, drawn out hommage to…

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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…