2 items from 2014
We French pride ourselves at being great at many things: Cooking elaborate meals, cultivating ridiculously expensive wine, making love while speaking with a thick accent English-speakers find inexplicably sexy, for example. But if there’s one aspect of French culture that’s particularly brag-worthy, it’s our films.
From the invention of the cinematograph by the Lumière Brothers to the New Wave, French cinema has established itself as one of the most revered in the world, perhaps second only to Hollywood in its influence over the rest of the world. Most filmgoers have seen or at least heard of such landmark works as Breathless, The 400 Blows, Grand Illusion or La Femme Nikita. As such, this list will focus on French films that, due to lack of media coverage, poor international distribution or their own unconventional nature, are not as well-known as the aforementioned ones but are just »
- Thomas Ricard
Moving into family-autobiography terrain after her 2008 biopic “Sagan,” Diane Kurys depicts an episode from her parents’ lives just after World War II in “For a Woman.” This drama of covert political and romantic intrigue has the kind of respectable if slightly soap-operatic historical and narrative juice that’s traditionally been a winning formula for upmarket Gallic cinema. Somewhat pedestrian packaging and one less-than-committed central performance won’t help this fairly engrossing pic achieve the sleeper status of a similar endeavor like Claude Miller’s “A Secret.” Still, prospects remain reasonably solid for multiformat niche biz in various territories, with Film Movement launching U.S. theatrical release May 2 in New York.
A framing device features a dour Sylvie Testud as Kurys’ alter ego, Anne, a veteran filmmaker who joins sister Tania (Julie Ferrier) at their ailing father’s deathbed in 1991, then finds old letters he’d kept, which she reads and »
- Dennis Harvey
2 items from 2014
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