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Two new Specialty debuts managed decent bows in a weekend dominated by summer studio releases. Sundance Selects opened German director Christian Petzold's Phoenix in a pair of locations Friday, while Broad Green Pictures did the same for its third release, Samba by French filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the duo behind the2012 international box office hit The Intouchables. Pantelion/Lionsgate, meanwhile, opened thriller The Vatican Tapes with over several… »
French filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledo scored big in 2012 with their drama The Intouchables, which managed Hollywood-proportion numbers at the international box office and even totaled well over $10M in the U.S. Their latest film, Samba, resonates as a personal story about a hot-button topic in many countries around the world: immigration. Broad Green's Samba joins a packed slate of limited-release features going up against the studios this weekend including… »
Writer-directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano hit a sweet spot with 2011’s near-half-billion-dollar global hit “The Intouchables,” starring Omar Sy as a white zillionaire quadriplegic’s black Algerian caregiver, pal, and life-restorer. So the filmmakers made another movie with a message: “Don’t worry, bourgeois! French minorities aren’t banlieue-burning banshees — we’re all best friends around here, let’s dance!” The Telegraph’s Mike McCahill usefully calls Nakache and Toledano the “diet Dardennes.” Social problems go down sweet and easy as a soothing low-calorie smoothie in “Samba,” their glossy new socially-conscious romantic comedy. This time, the masters of the low-cal rom-com make Sy a. »
- Tim Appelo
Read More: Review: Overly Sweet Drama 'Samba' Starring Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg And Tahar Rahim Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors of "Samba," make clear that they will not shy away from largely ignored problems -- and place them squarely in a comedic context. "Samba" is the story of an illegal immigrant (played by Omar Sy) from Senegal who fights to stay in Paris after years of working as a dishwasher. He crosses paths with an anxious immigration advocate (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) who recently burned out of her executive job and is seeking meaning in other paths. The unlikely pair's romantic entanglements make for a story about love and identity in addition to brushing the issue of the immigration struggle in modern day France. Nakache and Toledano, French filmmakers who previously worked together on the critically acclaimed "The Intouchables," discuss their affinity for making very real, very relevant problems. »
- Meredith Mattlin
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. French directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano have been working side by side since the mid 2000s, but stormed into popularity with their 2011 hit “The Intouchables.” Breaking local box-office records with a story about a quadriplegic aristocrat and his impoverished caretaker, it appears that stories about odd couples is something of a specialty for these two. Their latest film, “Samba,” has its grand world premiere at Tiff this year, and continues this trend of unlikely pairings, as it traces the relationship between a migrant from Senegal and the charity worker assisting in his residency case. It’s a love story set in a contemporary world brimming with immigration issues, but it manages to be neither political drama, nor bubbly romance, somehow getting away with being labeled as a comedy. Of course, it will only get away in some cases, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Illegal immigration, whimsical romance and slapstick comedy make for curious bedfellows in "Samba," the latest effort from French directing pair Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, who struck it huge in 2011 with their previous film, comedy-drama "The Intouchables." The pair have re-teamed with charismatic leading man Omar Sy, who plays the eponymous Samba, a Senegalese immigrant who’s lived undocumented in Paris for a decade with only his legal-resident uncle Lamouna (the excellent Youngar Fall) for backup. At the film’s open, an ostentatious, "Goodfellas"-esque tracking shot -- one of few concessions to technical flashiness amid a low-key, »
- Ashley Clark
Broad Green has taken Us distribution rights to "Samba," the latest dramedy from Frenchman Omar Sy, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. The film, directed by Sy's "Intouchables" helmers - Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano - co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahiin, in a tale of a Senegalese worker who battles to stay in France with the help of an immigration worker. The film presents a dramatic turn for the often comedic Monsieur Sy, who stars as Samba Cissé, a Senegalese migrant living in France, who earns a living washing dishes in the back kitchen of a fancy hotel - not quite what he »
- Tambay A. Obenson
At The Paris Theatre, the greats of the past - Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Capra - and Italy's recent past - Dino Risi, Ettore Scola and Mario Monicelli - blended with Ken Loach, Michel Gondry and Woody Allen as Samba co-director Olivier Nakache and Omar Sy spoke with me on the red carpet. Sy also starred in Nakache and Eric Toledano's The Intouchables. Omar Sy will soon be seen in John Wells' (of August: Osage County fame) Adam Jones with Bradley Cooper and Alicia Vikander and is filming Ron Howard's Inferno with Tom Hanks, Ben Foster and Felicity Jones.
Omar's wife, Hélène Sy, was joined by guests Michael Avedon, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Are classic commercials for Coca-Cola products in vogue this year? The finale of Mad Men had us all recalling the famous "Buy the World a Coke" jingle from the 1970s, and now we have an exclusive clip from the topical new French film Samba that pays tribute to a 1998 ad for Diet Coke. Do you remember the one with the office full of woman gazing at a hardbodied window washer enjoying a soft drink? If you do, you'll easily appreciate the below scene from the new movie from Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the guys who made The Intouchables. And here's the alluded-to ad: Samba is already a success overseas, grossing almost $40 million since debuting in France and Belgium last fall. As you can see in the...
- Christopher Campbell
A few years back, filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano made waves internationally with their arthouse hit "The Intouchables," and the pair are once again spinning some crowdpleasing magic with "Samba." Reuniting with Omar Sy, the cast is rounded out by Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, and Izia Higelin and today we've got an exclusive clip. Read More: 'Samba' Starring Omar Sy, Tahar Rahim & Charlotte Gainsbourg Blending comedy and drama, the story follows Samba, an undocumented kitchen worker, who is ordered to leave Frances, and battles deportation from his adopted home in Paris. Seeking out the help of immigration advocate Alice, the two soon form an unexpected bond, and some of the film's gentle emotion can be found in the scene below. "Samba" opens on July 24th. »
- Edward Davis
Samba reunites The Intouchables’ acclaimed directing duo, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, with award-winning actor Omar Sy in a richly entertaining chronicle of an undocumented kitchen worker battling deportation from his adopted home in Paris.
As the immigrant aspiring chef and the burned-out corporate executive tentatively explore an unexpected bond, they inspire each other to reinvent themselves in this vibrant comedy full of tender humor and heartfelt optimism.
- Michelle McCue
With the U.S. election cycle gearing up, you can be sure that illegal immigration will be a central issue. The rhetoric will get fairly charged on the right and left, but one movie from abroad aims to put a human face on the subject. And today you can see what "Samba" has to add to the conversation. The movie comes from Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the writer/directors behind the foreign film smash "The Intouchables." This time, they reteam with that film's star Omar Sy, alongside Tahar Rahim and Charlotte Gainsbourg, for a story of a illegal immigrant battling deportation. Here's the official synopsis: Read More: France Chooses Smash Hit "Intouchables" As Official Oscar Entry Samba reunites The Intouchables’ acclaimed directing duo, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, with award-winning actor Omar Sy in a richly entertaining chronicle of an undocumented kitchen worker battling »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Broad Green has taken Us distribution rights to "Samba," the latest dramedy from Frenchman Omar Sy, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. The film, directed by Sy's "Intouchables" helmers - Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano - co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahiin, in a tale of a Senegalese worker who battles to stay in France with the help of an immigration worker. Based on the trailer below, the film presents a dramatic turn for the often comedic Monsieur Sy, who stars as Samba Cissé, a Senegalese migrant living in France, who earns a living washing dishes in the back kitchen of a fancy »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Directed and written by Naomi Kawase
Alright-ness continues at this year’s festival with the Un Certain Regard opening film An (“Sweet Red Bean Paste”) by Cannes regular Naomi Kawase. The film stars Masatoshi Nagase as Sen, a middle-aged dorayaki pastry maker with alcohol issues and Kirin Kiki as Tokue, an elderly woman eager to work as Sen’s assistant in the pastry shop. The youthful touch is provided by Kyara Uchida as a shy schoolgirl having a hard time getting along with her single mother. Reluctant at first, Sen ends up admiring Tokue’s unique bean paste making talent and employs her to the displeasure of the pastry shop’s owner. Gradually, the three generations forge an intimate friendship as their respective traumas are revealed.
This humble drama offers a predictable, even if delicious, delve into »
★★★☆☆ Trying to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time is always an unenviable task. That was the challenge laid out to directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano as they seek to follow-up on the massive critical and commercial success of 2011's Untouchable, a light and hugely enjoyable odd-couple tale. Unsurprisingly, they have reunited once again with star Omar Sy for their fourth collaboration, Samba (2014). The result is a warm and engaging blend of romantic comedy and social drama, with Sy a shining light at its centre, but it lacks the irresistible charm which would have allowed it to replicate the magic of four years ago.
- CineVue UK
Clovis Cornillac’s “Blind Date,” a romantic comedy about the unlikely relationship between a puzzle builder and a classical pianist, won the audience award at the 19th annual Colcoa French Film Festival, which wraps on Thursday, while Alix Delaporte’s “The Last Hammer Blow,” a coming-of-age drama about an impoverished youth and his estranged father, took home the fest’s Lafca Critics Award.
Winning the audience award is a promising sign for “Blind Date,” which had its world premiere at the nine-day L.A. festival ahead of its May 6 rollout in France.
Of “The Last Hammer Blow,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Association jury stated collectively that its decision was “unanimous in our esteem of this visually stunning, restrained piece of cinema,” and that the film “was emotionally rich yet narratively spare.”
Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s “Once in a Lifetime,” about the travails of an inner-city school teacher, claimed both the »
- Steve Chagollan
Other winners at the French film festival in La include Alix Delaporte’s The Last Hammer Blow and documentary Steak (R)evolution.
The romantic comedy, which also stars director Cornillac alongside Mélanie Bernier, received its world premiere at the Los Angeles festival ahead of its May 6 release in France.
Alix Delaporte’s The Last Hammer Blow earned the Colcoa Lafca Critics Award following its North American premiere.
Once In A Lifetime directed by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar won both the Critics Special Prize and the Audience Special Prize.
The Best Documentary Award went to Steak (R)evolution by Frank Ribière and will be released in the Us by Kino Lorber.
The distributor also handles the First Feature Award winner SK1 by Frédéric Tellier.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
A feature debut, “La Vie en grand” tells the tale of Adama, a 14-year-old growing up in the projects, where he juggles the pressures of school and street life. With the help of his younger buddy Mamadou, Adama manages to get their lives on a different track.
“La Vie en grand” is produced by Bruno Nahon’s outfit Unite de Production, in association with Toledano and Nakache’s Ten Films.
Critics Week artistic director Charles Tesson said “La Vie en grand” “will let a wind of tenderness and freshness swirl through Critics’ Week.”
Penned by Olivier Demangel, »
- Elsa Keslassy
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Cannes Critics’ Week, devoted to first and second features, has unveiled the line-up for its 54th edition (May 14-22).
In total, 1,750 shorts and 1,000 features were submitted for consideration.
“On the poster the actress Lou de Laâge embraces the open horizon in front of her,” he said. “This wonderful energy and amazing life force it carries embody the desire leading us to discover the new breath of fresh air in cinema worldwide.”
The section will open with French Elie Wajeman’s second film The Anarchists (Les Anarchistes) set in Paris in 1899, starring the reportedly sizzling on-screen couple of Tahar Rahim and Adèle Exarchopoulos »
Paris — Elie Wajeman’s “The Anarchists,” a period drama starring Tahar Rahim (“The Past”) and Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”), is set to world premiere on opening night of Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, anchoring a strongly French-flavored lineup of first and second features.
Set in 1899 Paris, “The Anarchists” (pictured above) turns on a cop who infiltrates a network of anarchists and unexpectedly develops a sincere attachment for the group. It’s Wajeman’s follow-up to his 2012 debut film, “Aliyah” which played in Directors’ Fortnight, the festival’s other parallel program.
In addition to “The Anarchists,” Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson selected two French films — Louis Garrel’s “Les deux amis” and Mathieu Vadepied’s “La Vie en grand” — for the Special Screenings section.
- Elsa Keslassy
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