L’Embarras du Choix – Eric Lavaine

Director Eric Lavaine’s L’Embarras du Choix is a formulaic romantic comedy more at home on the small screen than deserving of the full cinema treatment.  It follows the box-office success of Lavaine’s last stint in the director’s chair, Retour Chez Ma Mere, and redrafts the same lead actress Alexandre Lamy.  L’Embarras du Choix sits neatly…

Chacun Sa Vie – Claude Lelouche

Veteran director Claude Lelouche turns 80 in October and has struggled in recent years to find the form which earned him an Oscar for A Man and a Woman in 1967.  His last film, Un + Une, a quirky romantic comedy set in India with Jean Dujardin and Elza Zylberstein in the lead roles, saw a partial…

Are French comedy films funny?

What should non-French speakers expect from a subtitled French comedy? Will we ‘get’ the jokes and humour? Will we follow the plot and the narrative? Will we warm to the characters? Instead of wondering whether or not we’ll enjoy these films, maybe we should expand our horizons and simply give them a chance. So here’s…

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.…