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2 items from 2013

Cannes Film Review: ‘Henri’

27 May 2013 11:11 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In recent years the versatile Belgian actress Yolande Moreau has appeared in serious dramas (“Seraphine”) as well as absurdist comedies (“Louise Michel”), and these disparate impulses have been joined, but not successfully reconciled, in her first solo-directed feature, “Henri.” The titular central character never really comes into focus in this straightforward but uninvolving story of a newly widowed man who finds solace and friendship with a mentally impaired work assistant, a potentially groan-inducing premise that writer-director Moreau handles responsibly but none too memorably. Outside France, Belgium and a few other Euro territories, this Directors’ Fortnight closing entry will remain mostly festival fare.

A fiftysomething Italian native who runs a small cafe in the Belgian city of Charleroi, Henri (Pippo Delbono) falls into a major funk when his wife (Lio) falls ill and dies suddenly. With the restaurant falling into disarray, Henri’s daughter (Gwen Berrou) recommends that he take on a “white butterfly, »

- Justin Chang

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Film Review: ‘Stand by Love’

9 April 2013 3:14 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

It’s going to be a bumpy flight for two ex-lovers who are accidentally seated next to each other on a plane in “Stand by Love,” Alexandre Castagnetti’s glossy, cliched French romantic comedy adapted from a screenplay by Yank thesp-scribe Vincent Angell (2009 TV series “The Beast”). On her way back from New York, an about-to-be-married sculptress, played by a vivacious Ludivine Sagnier, has to spend hours talking with a debonair cad she once dated, prompting a severe case of recurring flashback-itis. Though uneven, the pic should coast to respectable numbers locally and see some offshore action.  

A Gotham-set prologue somewhat crudely telegraphs what auds need to know about the characters: Antoine (Nicolas Bedos, in his first starring role) is a handsome but heartless Casanova — he wakes up handcuffed in a sea of empty bottles and nameless babes — and Julie (Sagnier) is a cutesy yet earthy Zooey Deschanel type (except French, »

- Boyd van Hoeij

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2 items from 2013

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