The Oscar-nominated actors from French cinema

This Sunday marks one of the biggest dates on the global cinema calendar – The Academy Awards, or The Oscars, as they are more widely-known. The awards unite the creme-de-la-creme from international cinema, and celebrates the very best work of actors, actresses, directors and producers. This year’s nominees include Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Ryan…

Rock’n Roll – Guillaume Canet

Guillaume Canet’s Rock’n’ Roll is a fine example of a genre of film not often seen from French directors. In addition, this self-parodying film comes from an actor/director not well-known for his pure comic talent.  Canet is more often seen in taut thrillers like La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai le Coeur or L’Homme qu’on Aimait…

Pedro Almodóvar to head Cannes Festival jury

The flamboyant icon of Spanish cinema and world-famous director and screenwriter Pedro Almodóvar is to be the next President of the Jury for the Festival International du Film de Cannes, which begins on 17th May and will be celebrating its 70th edition. Five of his  films – All About my Mother (Todo Sobre mi Madre, Best Director), Volver (Best Screenplay, Best…

Eurocinema to launch in the UK

British fans of European cinema can now sit back and enjoy their favourite films after Eurocinema’s decision to launch its own dedicated slot on UK television starting on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. The channel is kicking off with two French romantic comedies – Laurent Chouchan’s Les Vertiges de l’Amour (Love Vertigo). Billed as “a fun, witty French comedy with English…

Raid dingue (RAID: Special unit) – Dany Boon

It’s a testament to the popularity of Dany Boon that a run-of the-mill comedy like RAID Dingue can pull in over a million spectators in less than a week. Boon has been a sure-fire hit at the box office since the huge success of Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks) in 2008. And…

Dalida – Lisa Azuelos

Lisa Azuelos’s film of one of France’s most popular singers skims over the surface of the life of the Egyptian/Italian artist to hone in on her disastrous relationships with men interspersed with a race through some of her most memorable hits. For a singer who sold over 80 million records worldwide, this is no mean feat.  But it’s doubtful if…

Un Sac de Billes (A Bag of Marbles) – Christian Duguay

Christian Duguay’s Un Sac de Billes is the second time the best-selling autobiographical novel has been brought to the big screen coming over forty years after Jacques Doillon’s own adaptation of the book by Joseph Jollo.  On the positive side, Duguay’s film is beautifully shot and boasts fine performances from its two main actors aged just 17 and 12-years-old.…

Isabelle Huppert up for Best Actress Oscar and César awards

After taking the Golden Globe for Best Actress on January 8 for her magnificent performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, Isabelle Huppert is now in the running for a much coveted Oscar award as well as a César, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards. Huppert faces tough Oscar competition from some of Hollywood’s most respected…

Elle – Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven’s Elle is not an easy film to like.  A black comedy/thriller based around a brutal rape and the female victim’s eventual revenge is bound to be contoversial.  And it’s debatable whether many other actresses apart from Isabelle Huppert could pull off such a delicate balancing act.  Aside from the plot, Verhoeven casts an almost…

La Mechanique de l’Ombre (Scribe) –  Thomas Kruithof

Not even a fine performance from François Cluzet as a reformed alcoholic who is haplessly drawn into a web of political intrigue can rescue Thomas Kruithof’s first full-length feature.  Billed as a thriller, La Mechanique de l’Ombre gets off to a promising start as Duval (Cluzet)  loses his job and marriage to executive burn out and is forced to accept…