8 items from 2013
Director: Pascal Bonitzer
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Damien is a professor of Chinese civilization who promises his partner, Iva, to ask his father Sébastien, a state councilor, to intervene in favour of Zorica, an illegal immigrant. In theory, Sébastien Hauer is influential enough to keep Zorica from being expelled from France but his relationship with his son presents problems.
The film isn’t one of the best French language movies (if you’re looking for a good French movie- watch Entre Les Murs). The storyline is sadly not very engaging or exciting and by the end it’s all incredibly predictable- you easily guess whom the characters’ true identities are and what’s going to happen. The movie describes itself as a comedy but to be honest, it’s barely satirical. The situations aren’t funny, just unfortunate. You’ll cringe »
- Ellen Daniels
To mark the release of Looking for Hortense on December 2nd we’ve been given 5 copies to give away on DVD.
Damien (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a Chinese civilization professor, lives with his partner, Iva (Kristin Scott Thomas), a stage director, and their son Noé. The couple’s relationship has drifted into routine that has drained it of love. Damien finds himself trapped one day by Iva, who orders him to ask his father, a senior member of the French Council of State, for help in preventing Zorica (Isabelle Carré), a woman Iva knows, from being deported. But Damien and his father don’t get on and are barely ever in touch with each other. This dangerous mission throws Damien into a spiral that will turn his life upside down.
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Coogan's comic alter-ego goes big screen at last, but fear not: he's just as pathetically provincial and inadvertently offensive as he ever was – and just as consistently hilarious. A siege situation at Partridge's Norfolk radio station is the excuse to "open out" the scenario and explore the talk DJ's latent heroic side, but – as usual – the day is saved by Coogan's deft characterisation, some great writing and a love/hate fascination with Middle English mediocrity.
The Lone Ranger (12A)
Where Verbinski and Depp struck a great action-comedy balance with Pirates Of The Caribbean (and Rango), attempts »
- Steve Rose
The French character actor Jean-Pierre Bacri has a stooped gait, a weathered face and a hangdog air. This makes him the perfect touchstone for Pascal Bonitzer's lugubrious Paris-set redemption tale, a film that's positively marinated in tears, red wine and cigarette smoke. Bacri stars as Damien, a sad professor, shunned by both his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his dad, and toiling to save a fetching local waitress (Isabelle Carré) from being deported. Hopes fade, and true love falters. But the performances are tart and tannic, ensuring the film goes out with a graceful dying fall.
World cinemaDramaXan Brooks
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- Xan Brooks
★★★☆☆ Pascal Bonitzer's domestic dramedy Looking for Hortense (2012), starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Jean-Pierre Bacri and Isabelle Carré, has a topical slant that lifts the film out of mediocrity. Iva (Scott Thomas), a successful theatre director, asks her partner Damien (Bacri), a lecturer in Chinese Studies, to try and prevent the deportation of her sister's friend Zorica (Carré), an illegal immigrant he has never met. Damien's aloof father (Claude Rich) is a senior member of the French Council of State and knows all the right people in high places. Unwillingly, out of a sense of duty to Iva, Damien makes an appointment to see him.
Pressed for time, they meet in a Japanese restaurant where Damien is visibly shocked to see his elderly father flirting with a young male waiter. Distracted, he vacillates and fails to raise Zorica's case. Meanwhile, Iva starts an affair with her leading actor and Damien demands »
- CineVue UK
Some of the most enjoyable movies to have come out of Europe in the past couple of years have been French romantic comedies (From-coms), with the likes of Delicacy, Populaire and Heartbreaker illuminating our screens, with their effortless charm and whimsicality. Now we can add another to our collection, as director Pascal Bonitzer reunites with British actress Kristin Scott Thomas in his latest picture Looking for Hortense.
We delve into the troubling life of Damien (Jean-Pierre Bacri), who is a professor of Japanese civilisation by day, and a long suffering husband of Iva (Scott Thomas) by night. As the latter’s romantic affair causes rifts between their marriage and they start arguing incessantly in front of their young son, Damien has his head turned by the beautiful illegal immigrant Aurore (Isabelle Carré). With expulsion from France looming, Damien has the power to keep his new friend in the country, as »
- Stefan Pape
Intelligent, elegant, unfussy drama of the kind that comes so easily to our French cousins, Looking for Hortense will delight those wanting something for the mind to chew over. Jean-Pierre Bacri is Damien, an Asian studies professor having trouble with his father, son and wife, Iva, played in suitably brittle form by Kristin Scott Thomas. Salvation of some kind seems to come from Isabelle Carré's bookstore assistant, but nothing runs smoothly in this affecting Parisian gem. »
The film earned two nominations at the César Awards earlier in the year, the French equivalent of the Oscars. And with its August UK release date just a few weeks away, we’ve got the new UK quad poster to exclusively share.
Looking For Hortense is a bittersweet ‘comedie de moeurs’ that is French in spirit but universal in appeal. Damien (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a Chinese civilization professor, lives with his partner, Iva (Kristin Scott Thomas), a stage director, and their son Noé. The couple’s relationship has drifted into routine that has drained it of love. Damien finds himself trapped one day by Iva, who orders him to ask his father, a senior member of the French Council of State, »
- Kenji Lloyd
8 items from 2013
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