Bonne Pomme (Nobody’s Perfect) – Florence Quentin

Two of France’s most iconic actors – Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve – appear on screen for the tenth time in Florence Quentin’s lightweight romantic drama. And both talented actors deserve better than this tepid, confusing film which is clearly suffering from an identity crisis. Part comedy-part fantasy, Bonne Pomme never seems to get going…

Sage Femme (The Midwife) – Martin Provost

Director Martin Provost continues to focus on female relationships in his latest film Sage Femme which brings together for the first time two of France’s most seasoned actresses – Catherine Deneuve (La Tete Haute) and Catherine Frot (Marguerite). After wowing critics with Séraphine in 2008, Provosts’s Sage Femme is a disappointingly dull film which lacks a…

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,…

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…

La Volante – Christophe Ali, Nicolas Bonilauri

Veteran actress Nathalie Baye is outstanding as a crazed granny out to prove ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’ in this stylish, psychological thriller with definite shades of the master himself, Albert Hitchcock. Compare the opening scenes of a car interior as it speeds along a rain-swept road with an early scene in Hitchcock’s…

Le Tout Nouveau Testament (The Brand New Testament) – Jaco van Dormael

Jaco van Dormael’s irreverant comedy has an storyline worthy of a superior surrealist mind.  In this new interpretation of The Bible, the Belgian director’s God is a misanthropic, angry, middle-aged man living in a shabby apartment in the Belgian capital, Brussels. It’s so crazy it just might work and yet a promising start is lost in a…

3 Coeurs (Three Hearts) – Benoît Jacquot

Benoît Jacquot, the award winning director of Farewell My Queen, has assembled a sterling cast for his tale of love versus lust set in a provincial French town.  Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Benoît Poelvoorde manage to breathe some life into what is a over-long, over-romanticised, over-dramatic story of fickle fate.  But it’s a waste of…

Maestro – Lea Fazer

Lea Fazer’s Maestro is a delightfully funny film about co-writer Jocelyn Quivrin’s experience as a young actor of working with veteran French film director Eric Rohmer.  Quivrin appeared in Rohmer’s 2007 film The Romance of Atrea and Celadon. Tragically he died in a road accident in 2009 – Rohmer died the following year at the age of 89.…