Deniz Gamze Ergüven – Mustang

Turkish-French film maker Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s stunning debut feature has already proved a hit on the award’s circuit. This tale of five orphaned sisters growing up on Turkey’s Black Sea coast recently walked away with the Prix Lumière  for Best Film and collected four Césars at Friday night’s ceremony including Best First Feature and Best Original Screenplay. And it’s…

Arnaud Desplechin wins Best Director César

Arnaud Desplechin beat stiff competition from Emmanuelle Bercot, Maiwenn, Deniz Gamze Erguven, Xavier Giannoli and Jacques Audiard to take home the Best Director César for Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse. Deniz Gamze Erguven did not leave the ceremony empty-handed. She won the César for Best First Film and Best Editing as well as Best Original Screenplay and Best…

La Vache (One Man and His Cow) – Mohamed Hamidi

Mohamed Hamidi’s La Vache is a road movie with a twist. The travelling companions are Algerian farmer Fatah (Fatsah Bouyahmed) and his prize cow Jacqueline who he dreams of entering in competition at Paris’ renowned Salon de l’Agriculture. The scenario is nothing new. It’s roughly the basis of the classic 1959 French film La Vache…

Les Naufragés (Shipwrecked) – David Charhon

David Charhon’s disappointing comedy Les Naufragés is a waste of the talents of two gifted French actors – Daniel Auteuil and Laurent Stocker of the Comédie Française. Perhaps Charhon hoped to recreate the chemistry between the two leads that was behind the success of his last film De l’Autré Côté du Périph starring the ever-watchable Omar…

Joséphine s’arrondit – Marilou Berry

For her directorial debut, Marilou Berry has chosen a follow-up to 2013’s moderately successful Joséphine directed by Agnès Obadia with Berry in the title role.  Both films are based on the graphic novels by Pénélope Bagieu which follow the trials and tribulations of a  30-something single woman looking for love.  Sounds familiar? The novels have been compared…

Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang wins Prix Lumières for Best Film

Nominated for several awards including the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and the César for Best Director and Best Film, Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang already has the Prix Lumières for Best Film under her belt. The Lumières awards which took place on 8th February are chosen by foreign press correspondants based in France and are considered…

Les Innocentes (Agnus Dei) – Anne Fontaine

  Given a warm reception at the Sundance Film Festival where it premiered in January, Anne Fontaine’s Les Innocentes is intelligent, nuanced filmaking at its best. The rape of Polish nuns in a Benedictine convent by Russian soldiers during the winter of 1945 raises a multitude of questions and contradictions skillfully handled by Fontaine in…

Top 10 female French directors to watch

With three female French directors in competition for the first time ever for the prestigious Best Director prize at the upcoming César film awards in France, it’s interesting to note Maiwenn, Emmanuelle Bercot and Deniz Gamze Ergüven are not the only woman producing quality films in what is usually a male-dominated industry. Here are ten…

Chocolat – Roschdy Zem

Back on home turf after a couple of disappointing secondary roles stateside (Jurassic World, Burnt)  Omar Sy must be hoping Roschdy Zem’s biopic of Chocolat, France’s first black clown, will give his acting career a boost.  Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s Les Intouchables turned Sy into a star and this film, like Les Intouchables, is…

Encore Heureux – Benoît Graffin

Sandrine Kiberlain (Marie) and Edouard Baer (Sam) headline this slow, lazy comedy set against the backdrop of France’s current economic and social malaise. Benoît Graffin’s middle-class, married couple are doubtless there to demonstrate unemployment, homelessness and poverty are not the preserve of the disaffected working class. And the situation is ripe for an astute, well-observed,…