7 items from 2017
Au Beaune Pain: Lelouch Continues with Frivolous Comedy Spackle
Somewhere along the way Palme d’Or and Oscar winning auteur Claude Lelouch (1966’s A Man and a Woman) morphed into the Garry Marshall of French film, churning out vapid comedy vehicles sporting a glitzy array of notable Gallic stars. Whenever the slide began, his tendencies to overstuff his narratives with zany layers of (often inconsequential) tangential sub-plotting began years ago, look no further than his 1986 sequel to his most famous film, A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later for longstanding evidence of the change. His later period reflects the stamp of various muses, such as actress Audrey Dana, and now, frequent co-author Valerie Perrin. With 2013’s We Love You, You Bastard and 2015’s Un + Une, Lelouch has become completely divorced from his illustrious past filmography, a chasm only widened by his latest venture, Everybody’s Life, once more featuring Johnny Hallyday and Jean Dujardin amongst a cavalcade of a cast, all whirling through this odd kitchen sink array of miscellaneous characters all inclined to converse about their Zodiac signs as they fall in and out of romantic love or obsessive yearning during a a year’s time in Beaune, France.
As an annual jazz festival gets underway, a slew of characters intersect and coverage in the provincial town of Beaune in the Burgundy region. A judge (Eric Dupond-Moretti) must contend with the news of Clementine’s (Beatrice Dalle) retirement, a local prostitute whose company has brought him great joy since the death of his wife. Meanwhile, his colleague Nathalie (Julie Ferrier) falls out of a window after finding her husband (Gerard Darmon) with another man, sharing an ambulance with a hypochondriac singer (Mathilde Seigner) who believes she is having a heart attack following a performance at the festival. At the same time, a tawdry court case has drawn together another subsection of the community, including the troubled alcoholic Antoine (Christophe Lambert), currently facing the dissolution of his own marriage with his disconsolate wife (Marianne Denicourt) betwixt legal troubles. And as famed singer Johnny Hallyday faces a problem with a slippery doppelganger (who has a tryst with an unhappily married Comtesse played by Elsa Zylberstein, married to Vincent Perez), which causes some confusion with local cop Jean (Jean Dujardin), the marriage between former beauty queen (Nadia Fares) and Stephane (Stephane De Groodt) is also on the rocks. Meanwhile, the local hospital has decided to engage a new policy wherein patients must be put at ease through sexually provocative jokes, which brings a chummy nurse (Deborah Francois) into contact with several patients.
If Max Ophuls had wanted to make La Ronde (1950) into a relationship farce (to be fair, Roger Vadim kind of did this with his remake) set to light jazz, it might look something like Everybody’s Life. However, Lelouch feels as if he filmed his illustrious cast in a number of amusing scenarios and pasted the end results together as he saw fit, clipping it into a semblance of repeated scenarios with revolving characters, all who end up professing their love, being destroyed by it, or simply moving on to another chapter. However, the film is neither subtle nor diverse in its repetitive techniques, and for as entertaining as it is to see Hallyday and Dujardin horse around as they take selfies, the frivolousness quickly gets wearying, particularly by its grand framed finale, where we return to the court room a year later after the film’s beginning, with Lelouch stuffing all his characters, whether it makes sense or not, into the same room.
Gregoire Lacroix assists Perrin, Pierre Uytterhoeven (who co-wrote A Man and a Woman) and Lelouch in this adaptation from his own prose, but Everybody’s Life drifts aimlessly, as if besotted by the presence of its own unlucky in love characters all experiencing the same approximation of discontent. Most of these formulas are tedious, if not forgettable, with a glaring bright spot from Beatrice Dalle as a prostitute who wants nothing more to do with sex or men and relish the retirement she deserves. If somewhat less ungainly than rom-com Un+Une and the loopy We Love You, You Bastard, this isn’t a return to form or an ascension to new heights for Lelouch, try as it might to ‘experiment’ with traditional narrative form.
Reviewed on April 24th at the 2017 Colcoa French Film Festival – Opening Night Film. 113 Mins.
The post Everybody’s Life | 2017 Colcoa French Film Festival Review appeared first on Ioncinema.com. »
- Nicholas Bell
Eva Green in Roman Polanski’s out of competition Cannes film Based On A True Story Photo: Unifrance Roman Polanski Photo: Richard Mowe With just over two weeks to go before the start of the 70th anniversary edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the organisers have added some titles to the mix including one in competition (The Square by Ruben Östlund) and an out of competition slot for Roman Polanski’s Based On A True Story.
The title had been touted for inclusion early on but Polanski has always been a controversial figure, who earlier in the year had to resign from his role as President of the Césars (France’s Oscars) after protests from feminist groups. He won the Palme d’Or in 2002 for The Pianist, set in the Warsaw Ghetto.
- Richard Mowe
Roman Polanski’s Based On A True Story is one of several additions to the Cannes line-up announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile Ruben Östlund’s The Square lands a competition slot. Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West star in the drama about a city square where there are no rules. Östlund’s last film, Force Majeure, won the Un Certain Regard jury prize in 2014.
There are two additions to Un Certain Regard. Political drama La Cordillera stars Ricardo Darin and is Argentinian director Santiago Mitre’s follow-up to his Cannes Critics’ Week 2015 Nespresso Grand Prize-winner Paulina. The other new selection is Walking Past The Future from Li Ruijun.
Joiing the Special Screenings roster are Barbet Schroeder’s [link »
Eva Green, Emmanuelle Seigner, and Vincent Perez star in Polanski’s French-language psychological thriller about a writer and her obsessive admirer. Olivier Assayas co-wrote the screenplay with Polanski, based on a novel by Delphine de Vigan. Sony Pictures Classics is the U.S. distributor, while Lionsgate is selling worldwide rights.
Polanski was forced to resign as president of the Cesar Awards in January after protests from feminist organizations over his longstanding rape case, so another round of protests could be in store.
- Pat Saperstein
Exclusive: Canadian sales outfit is representing the project at the Efm.
Seville International arrives at the European Film Market (Efm) with international rights to a feel-good documentary about competitive poultry shows.
Slavko Martinov’s Pecking Order follows members of the Christchurch Poultry, Pigeon and Bantam Club as they strive to overcome internecine warfare and triumph at the New Zealand National Poultry Show.
“This out-of-the-box, hilarious project is pure fun for me and the team at Seville,” said Seville International senior vice-president of international Sales Anick Poirier.
“We are so excited to work with Slavko to bring this creative ‘flockumentary’ to the world and show audiences just how to ruffle some feathers. Buyers will flock.”
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Shooting underway in Montreal on historical drama features Vincent Perez and French-Canadian rapper Samian.
Hochelaga spans 750 years and five stories set on the site of Montreal that link an Iroquoian massacre in 1267, Jacques Cartier’s first voyage in 1535, the purple fever epidemic in 1687, the Patriots uprising in 1837 and brain surgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1944.
Seville International senior vice-president of international sales Poirier described the project as “a sweeping, beautiful and unique story that we’re excited to launch in Berlin and bring to audiences »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Director Roman Polanski has decided to decline the invitation to preside over this year’s César awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, after protests by the feminist group Osez le Feminisme.
Roman Polanski: “saddened” by feminist protests Photo: UniFrance
Polanski, who lives in France and is currently at work on Based On A True Story, co-written by Olivier Assayas and starring Eva Green, his wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Vincent Perez, said through his lawyer that he was “deeply saddened” that he had been forced into this position by the group’s planned protest.
He has been wanted by the Us authorities since 1978 when he was convicted of a child rape after pleading guilty and then fleeing the country before sentence. He cannot be extradited from France as the country has no extradition treaty with the States. »
- Richard Mowe
7 items from 2017
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