Marseille – Kad Merad

Dubbed the southern France version of the hit film Bienvenu Chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks), Kad Merad’s third directorial feature is a tangled mess of half-baked ideas and errant storylines.  Doubtless conceived out of a love for the sprawling, ethnically mixed, vibrant city of Marseille, his film lacks focus and heart despite its…

Films to watch in April – Clavier and Reno star in Les Visiteurs 3

LES VISITEURS – LA REVOLUTION – JEAN-MARIE POIRE It’s taken Jean-Marie Poiré 18 years to direct the third in his series of Les Visiteurs films. The first, back in 1993 introduced Jean Reno as Comte Godefroy de Montmirail and Christian Clavier as Jacquouille la Fripouille to cinema audiences and was a massive hit in France with over 13…

Médecin de Campagne (Irreplaceable) – Thomas Lilti

Doctor-turned-director Thomas Lilti seems to be leading a one-man cinematic campaign highlighting the threats facing the French health system.  After Hippocrate, a no-nonsense look at life for a young intern at a Paris hospital,  Lilti now turns his attention to the dwindling number of doctors drawn to the often difficult life of a rural practice.…

Stars line up for Cannes Film Festival 2016

  With two months still to go before the start of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, news is beginning to trickle in as to who will grace this year’s Croisette and climb the famous red-carpet outside the Grand Palais. Jodie Foster will be there accompanied by lead actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts for her…

Au Nom de ma Fille (Kalinka) – Vincent Garenq

Sticking with a winning formula, Vincent Garenq once again turns to real life events for his latest film, Au Nom de Ma Fille (Kalinka), the story of one man’s 27 year struggle to bring to justice the man he believed murdered his daughter. In his first serious drama since 2013’s Avant l’Hiver, Daniel Auteuil is…

Saint Amour – Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine

Kervern and Delépine’s highly-accomplished, multi-layered, surreal comedy Saint Amour should go some way to restoring Gérard Depardieu as one of France’s greatest actors.  His moving performance in Valley of Love opposite Isabelle Huppert was a show-stopper.  But here he adds weight, literally, to the role of Jean, a father desperately trying to connect with his…

Eperdument (Down by Love) – Pierre Godeau

For his second feature, director Pierre Godeau’s has drafted in two of the finest of a younger generation of French actors. Guillaume Gallienne of the prestigious La Comédie Française who drew rave reviews for his directorial debut Les Garcons, et Guillaume, à Table for which he also received the 2014 Best Actor César.  And Adèle Exarchopoulos who…

Isabelle Huppert shines at New York’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema

by Paula Schwartz.  Isabelle Huppert was the big star attraction at the opening night of the 21st edition of Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance. Her film, Valley of Love, co-starring Gérard Depardieu and directed by Guillaume Nicloux, enjoyed its North American premiere at the popular film…