Sous le Meme Toit – Dominique Farrugia

 The couple who try to rebuild a relationship post-divorce is fertile ground for comedy.  Martin Bourboulon’s Papa ou Maman is an excellent example of an original idea, a well-written script and bucket loads of chemistry between the two lead actors Laurent Lafitte and Marina Foïs. Elements sadly lacking from Dominique Farrugia’s tedious comedy Sous le Meme Toit.  In an…

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…

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…

Les Naufragés (Shipwrecked) – David Charhon

David Charhon’s disappointing comedy Les Naufragés is a waste of the talents of two gifted French actors – Daniel Auteuil and Laurent Stocker of the Comédie Française. Perhaps Charhon hoped to recreate the chemistry between the two leads that was behind the success of his last film De l’Autré Côté du Périph starring the ever-watchable Omar…

Top 10 female French directors to watch

With three female French directors in competition for the first time ever for the prestigious Best Director prize at the upcoming César film awards in France, it’s interesting to note Maiwenn, Emmanuelle Bercot and Deniz Gamze Ergüven are not the only woman producing quality films in what is usually a male-dominated industry. Here are ten…

L’Art de la Fugue (The Easy Way Out) – Brice Cauvin

Based on the novel by American author Stephen McCauley, Brice Cauvin’s second full-length feature is a flat, lifeless tale of a dysfunctional family which centres on each member’s inability to conduct a meaningful, loving adult relationship. Originally set in Boston, McCauley’s novel has not travelled well across the Atlantic.  When you take a story that…

Papa ou Maman (Daddy or Mommy) – Martin Bourboulon

Home-grown comedies are currently riding the crest of a wave in France. After the huge success of Qu’est ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu and the ongoing healthy performance at the box-office of La Famille Béllier, Martin Bourboulon’s debut feature Papa ou Maman has all the hallmarks of a bonafide hit. Co-written by Alexandre…

Elle l’Adore – Jeanne Herry

Jeanne Herry hits the bull’s eye for her first time out as director with the clever, funny thriller, Elle l’Adore, which pairs the hugely talented Sandrine Kiberlain with classically- trained actor Laurent Lafitte.  A witty script, a storyline that keeps the audience guessing until the credits roll and a cast of well-developed secondary characters, made…

Tristesse Club – Vincent Mariette

With a successful track record in short film already well-establshed (Les Lézards, Double Mixte), Vincent Mariette has chosen to direct a low-key, dramatic comedy for his first venture into full length features.  Tristesse Club is not without flaws, but its inspired casting, tight dialogue and continual ability to surprise lifts the film out of the ordinary onto a quasi-surreal level. After receiving news their…