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…

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…

L’Odyssée – Jérôme Salle

For a film about a figure as iconic as Jacques Yves Cousteau, Jérôme Salle’s L’Odyssée struggles to get to grips with the man who for television viewers of the late 60s onwards was the last word in underwater documentary making.  While the Americans were exploring space, Cousteau took viewers into the equally unknown and distinctly closer world…

Five – Igor Gotesman

For audiences who like their comedy on the crude side with plenty of off-colour sexual references, endless scenes of dope smoking and even a modicum of scatalogical humour then Igor Gotesman’s directoral debut is just the ticket.  But disappointment awaits those attracted by the presence of Pierre Niney, formerly of the prestigious La Comédie Française,…

Et Ta Soeur (Half Sister, Full Love) – Marion Vernoux

Marion Vernoux’s remake of Your Sister’s Sister is an almost exact replica of mumblecore director Lynn Shelton’s critically acclaimed 2012 independent hit. Vernoux has simply replaced Washington’s San Juan Islands with the wild and wooly Brittany coast.  It has the same scenes, chunks of the same dialogue and the same ending which begs the question does…

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…

Premiers Crus – Jérôme Le Maire

Jérôme Le Maire’s Premiers Crus is a US-style, feelgood movie with a French twist.  From the catchy jazz number which accompanies the opening credits to the stunning backdrop of the Burgundy wine-growing region, this film pulls out all the stops in its desire to please.  Wine buffs will love the behind-the-scenes look at the French…

Caprice – Emmanuel Mouret

Billed as a romantic comedy, Emmanuel Mouret’s Caprice struggles to fit the description.  True, love is the motor that drives the tangled relationships between the four leading characters, but any comedy is distinctly thin on the ground. Hopes Caprice will be an entertaining, American-style look at love among the Parisian middle class are raised by the opening…

Un Homme Idéal (A Perfect Man) – Yann Gozlan

Following mixed reviews for his directorial debut Captifs (Caged), Yann Gozlan has turned down the gore and turned up the suspense for Un Homme Idéal starring Pierre Niney, recent winner of the best actor César for the title role in Jalill Lespert’s  Yves Saint Laurent.  Un Homme Idéal has a definite whiff of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr…