César awards nominate 3 female directors for first time

For the first time in the history of the César awards – the French equivalent of the Oscars – three female directors are in the running for the coveted prize for Best Director at the upcoming ceremony on 26 February. They include Emmanuelle Bercot for the Cannes festival opener La Tête Haute,  Maïwenn for Mon Roi which…

Les Chevaliers Blancs (White Knights) – Joachim Lafosse

Lafosse’s film is based on the true story of Zoé’s Ark, a French NGO whose members were arrested for illegally trying to fly 103 African children from Chad to France in 2007. At the time the story raised questions over whether the affair was simply humanitarian goodwill gone wrong or more worryingly a sinister cover for…

My French Film Festival kicks off online

For French cinema fans around the world, many of whom are regular visitors to this blog, there is now a treat in store with the start of the sixth edition of the online festival dedicated to French film.  This year’s myfrenchfilmfestival.com sees 10 feature films and 10 short films, subtitled into numerous languages, competing for…

French films to watch out for in February

Chocolat – Roschdy Zem  After supporting roles in a number of films stateside including the monster box-office hit Jurassic World and the box-office flop Burnt, Omar Sy is back on home turf in Zem’s fourth directorial stint. Chocolat is the true story of France’s first black clown, Cuba’s Rafael Padilla. He and his partner Footit were…

Et Ta Soeur (Half Sister, Full Love) – Marion Vernoux

Marion Vernoux’s remake of Your Sister’s Sister is an almost exact replica of mumblecore director Lynn Shelton’s critically acclaimed 2012 independent hit. Vernoux has simply replaced Washington’s San Juan Islands with the wild and wooly Brittany coast.  It has the same scenes, chunks of the same dialogue and the same ending which begs the question does…

Arrête ton cinéma – Diane Kurys

For the first time in the director’s chair in three years, Diane Kurys has brought actress Sylvie Testud’s best selling novel  ‘C’est le Métier qui Rentre‘ to cinematic audiences. Essentially Arrête ton Cinéma is a film based on a book about a film about a screenplay. And if that were not complicated enough Testud herself takes…

Arrêtez-moi là (Stop me here) – Gilles Bannier

For his first move from the small to the big screen, director Gilles Bannier has drafted in the superb Reda Kateb as a taxi-driver wrongly accused of the abduction of a young girl.  Despite the presence of Kateb and the equally watchable Léa Drucker, Arrêtez-moi là is a ‘fence-sitter’ of a film. Neither compelling human drama nor…

Le Grand Partage – Alexandra  Leclère

Combining social drama with comedy requires a lightness of touch missing from Leclère’s dismal Le Grand Partage. This despite the best efforts of Karin Viard whose presence in any film is usually enough to lift it out of the ordinary ( Lulu Femme Nue, 21 nuits avec Pattie, On a failli etre amis). There is comic…

Top 10 French films of 2015

      As 2016 gets underway, it’s never too late to look back at the best of French cinema in 2015. Here is French Cinema Review’s Top 10 French films of 2015. It’s a list of my personal favourites. Feel free to let me know those French films you most enjoyed in 2015. Asphalte…