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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Top 10 French films of 2015

      As 2016 gets underway, it’s never too late to look back at the best of French cinema in 2015. Here is French Cinema Review’s Top 10 French films of 2015. It’s a list of my personal favourites. Feel free to let me know those French films you most enjoyed in 2015. Asphalte…

Asphalte (Macadam Stories) – Samuel Benchetrit

Drawing inspiration from two of his own novels,  Benchetrit has delivered a wonderfully surreal, funny, human drama set against the unlikely backdrop of a run-down housing estate in a featureless region of France.  While there have been no shortage of French films recently to use the infamous suburban Cités as the scene for gritty social…

5 French films to watch out for this autumn

  Marguerite – Xavier Giannoli. In competition at the Venice Film Festival, Marguerite marks the return to the big screen of the remarkable Catherine Frot (La Tourneuse de Pages, Le DÎner de Cons) after a three year absence. She plays Marguerite, a tone-deaf socialite who dreams of fame as an opera singer. Set in the…