Mona Achache - News Poster


Les Gazelles | 2015 My French Film Festival Review

Girls Just Wanna Have: Achache’s Breezy Sophomore Feature

After adapting Muriel Barbery’s celebrated novel The Hedgehog for her 2009 debut, director Mona Achache returns with her latest feature, Gazelles, based on the successful one woman show “Camille Attaque” of its star Camille Chamoux. Fans of her fantastic first outing may be a bit disappointed by the slightness of her latest, which feels akin to English language female buddy comedies, but happens to be a bit more refreshing due to its realistic female characters. Given its familiar scenario, Achache and Chamoux manage an energetic rendition of heterosexual female thirtysomethings finding empowerment as they overcome the building ennui of pre-mid-life crises brought on by refusing to accept standards they’ve had no say in creating. But even with its frank, sexual embrace in tow, there is a constant itchy niggle shadowing every scene because that fact of the matter is, we
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UniFrance Unveils MyFrenchFilmFestival Lineup

UniFrance Unveils MyFrenchFilmFestival Lineup
Paris– UniFrance is upping the ante for the fifth edition of its online festival MyFrenchFilmFestival, showcasing A-list festival players, local commercial and critical successes.

Melanie Laurent’s “Breathe” and “Hippocrate” (pictured above), both heading from Cannes’ Critics Week, Robin Campillo’s “Eastern Boys,” winner of Venice’s Horizons prize, and Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears ” are among the 10 feature films set to compete at MyFrenchFilmFestival. A second competition selection comprises 10 short films, notably the animated “A Town Called Panic: The Christmas Log,” “Guy Moquet” and “Shadow.”

MyFrenchFilmFestival’s lineup was unveiled today at a press conference organized at the French culture ministry. Organized by UniFrance Jean-Paul Salomé and managing director Isabelle Giordano, the presser was attended by culture minister Fleur Pellerin, Cnc president Frederique Bredin and Michel Gondry, who succeeds to Jean-Pierre Jeunet as president of the directors’ jury.

The online
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Other Angle Inks Sales On “Babysitting,” Screens “Trapped” At Unifrance’s Rdv

Other Angle Inks Sales On “Babysitting,” Screens “Trapped” At Unifrance’s Rdv
Paris– Boasting a full slate of French fare, Other Angle has closed further sales on “Babysitting,” Philippe Lacheau and Nicolas Benhamou’s French twist on “Project X.”

Babysitting,” which is part of Other Angle’s roaster for the Unifrance’s three-day Rendez-Vous mart, has been picked up by Russia (All Media), Belgium (Victory) and Switzerland (Praessens).

A comedy starring Philippe Lacheau, Gerard Jugnot and Clotilde Courau, “Babysitting” turns on an employee who is asked by his boss and his wife to babysit their son, an out-of-control teenage brat. The next morning, they receive a call from the police warning them that their son is missing and their villa has been turned out. The parents must watch a found footage of the night’s events to find out what happened to their son.

Pic is produced by Christophe Cervoni (“Mobius”) and Marc Fiszman (“Jcvd”), and will be released in Gaul by Universal in the Spring.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

UniFrance Rendez-vous Unveils 52 Premieres

Paris – Bowing Jan.10 at the august Hotel Intercontinental Le Grand, abutting the Place de l’Opera, the 16th Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris will be one of the biggest market-junkets ever for a national cinema.

Only France, which with the U.K. hosts one of Europe’s two biggest industries, could organize an event of this magnitude or allure.

110 French movies will screen, a Rendez-vous record, at three Gaumont cinema-theaters just across the Square,

Distributors will attend from 50 countries, principally from Europe, but also for the first time officially from Latin America as well.

In hallowed tradition, UniFrance uses its Rendez-vous to announce and analyze in admirable detail the previous year theatrical box office numbers for French films abroad. 2013’s total trawl looks set to be way down on 2012, an all time high when three juggernauts - “Taken 2” (Euros 265.8 million: $354.8 million), “The Intouchables” ($268.9 million) and “The Artist
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Huppert, Deneuve, Gainsbourg Bring Glam to Paris Fest

Huppert, Deneuve, Gainsbourg Bring Glam to Paris Fest
Isabelle Huppert starrer “Paris Follies,” Fabrice du Welz’s noirish cop actioner “Colt 45” and “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles,” an adaptation of Katherine Pancol’s runaway French bestseller, figure among 52 market premieres at 2014’s Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous.

Its higher-profile titles decidedly eclectic, the Rendez-vous lineup also features star vehicles: Heist caper “The Last Diamond” toplines Berenice Bejo; Pierre Salvadori’s “In the Courtyard” stars Catherine Deneuve; and two films feature Charlotte Gainsbourg: reincarnation thriller “His Wife” and Riad Sattouf’s femme-ruled dystopia satire “Jacky in the Kingdom of Women.”

Other noteworthy pics include post split-up drama “Gazelles” from Mona Achache (“Hedgehog”); love story “Une Rencontre” (Quantum Love), which Pathe Intl. picked up for world sales outside France, Belgium and Switzerland, from Lisa Azuelos (“Lol”); Helier Cisterne’s debut pic, teen drama “Vandal,” a Gallic critical hit; and a purported swan song: Jacques-Remy Girerd’s “Aunt Hilda!” from Folimage,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Other Angle runs with Achache’s Gazelles

Other Angle runs with Achache’s Gazelles
Exclusive: Paris-based Other Angle also adds sales on heist caper The Last Diamond.

Paris-based Other Angle has picked up sales on Mona Achache’s romantic comedy Les Gazelles, about a 30-year-old woman readjusting to single life after splitting from her long-term boyfriend.

It is Achache’s first feature-length film since award multiple award-winner The Hedgehog.

Les Gazelles stars actress and stand-up comedian Camille Chamoux [pictured] in the lead role with support from Audrey Fleurot, best known internationally as the gay, redheaded secretary in Intouchables, and Josephine de Meaux. The film is loosely based on Chamoux’s one-woman show Camille Attaque.

Mathias Rubin of Recifilms, who was a partner on the Jean Dujardin-starrer Mobius, produces with support from Orange Studio. The film will be released by Paramount in France.

Other new titles on Other Angle’s Afm slate include Philippe Lacheau’s found-footage comedy Babysitting, piecing together the chaotic turn of events that ensues when a young executive
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Hedgehog

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012

Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $34.98

Studio: Neoclassic Films

Movies with heart always have a place on our shelves, and The Hedgehog has plenty.

The foreign film tells the coming-of-age story of gifted 11-year-old Palmona (Garance Le Guillemic). As her next birthday looms closer, she wonders what’s the point in growing if all the adults are hypocrits. She starts recording them with her dad’s old camcorder and begins to learn about life from her building’s stuffy janitor (Josiane Balasko, French Twist). When Paloma discovers that the usually gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, an unlikely friendship emerges, and Paloma starts to not worry so much about growing up.

Based on the worldwide best-selling novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, the drama movie is the first film written and directed by Mona Achache, who we expect to see more from in the future.
See full article at Disc Dish »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Hedgehog

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 12, 2012

Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $34.98

Studio: NeoClassics Films

Josiane Balasko ponders Tolstoy as she lounges with her cat in The Hedgehog.

Josiane Balasko (French Twist) and young Garance Le Guillemic star in the acclaimed 2009 French drama film The Hedgehog, based on Muriel Barbery‘s international best-selling novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Adapted for the screen and directed by first-time feature helmer Mona Achache, The Hedgehog tells the coming-of-age story of Paloma (Le Guillemic), a gifted young girl bent ending it all on her upcoming twelfth birthday. Using her father’s old camcorder to chronicle the hypocrisy she sees in adults, Paloma begins to learn about life from her stuffy building concierge, Renée (Balasko ). When Paloma’s camera reveals an extensive secret library in Renée’s back room, and that the usually gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, Paloma begins to understand that there are allies
See full article at Disc Dish »

Nicholas' Top 20 of 2011: Picks 10-1

10) The Hedgehog The debut of director Mona Achache, The Hedgehog, based on a popular French novel, centers on Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic), an 11 year old girl that, fed up with her world, has decided to kill herself on her twelfth birthday. Formidably (and thankfully, not annoyingly) precocious, Paloma is fascinated with art and philosophy, decided to film her world around her as she moves forward with her plan, narrating her opinions to us on what’s wrong with her parents and the world at large. Paloma meets a kindred spirit in the form of the cranky and seemingly unhappy Renee (an absolutely fabulous Josiane Balasko), the building janitor. The arrival of a new tenant creates some ripples as he flirts with the avid reader Renee through Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and the cinema of Ozu, and soon a very endearing and unpredictable romance ensues. Touching, tragic, and funny, The Hedgehog is an excellent debut,
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Nicholas' Top 20 of 2011: Picks 20-11

Not unlike other years, 2011 had its share of particular titles that dominated cinematic conversations (though I don’t recall ever having had more conversations about a new film than The Tree of Life), with the end of the year heralding shoe-in awards fodder for hotly anticipated, overbearing biopics, starring Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams. While many an auteur trotted out new, astounding masterworks, whether they be tempered with flaws (Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method) or arrived without much ado (Almodovar’s excellent The Skin I Live In), 2011 also really featured some excellent debuts and some auteurs-in-the-making returning with astounding second (Kenneth Lonergan’s devastingtly ignored Margaret, Oren Moverman’s brilliant Rampart) and third efforts (Lynne Ramsay’s bad-seed Swinton starrer, We Need to Talk About Kevin). And whereas 2009 was credited as an exceptional year for female directors, one could argue that 2011 announced some excellent new global female filmmakers, with spectacular
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Daily Briefing. New Cineaste, New Best-of-2011 Lists

  • MUBI
Too bad the critical symposium in the new, Winter 2012 issue of Cineaste isn't online. Participants evidently include Gianni Amelio, Olivier Assayas, Costa-Gavras, Robert Greenwald, and Sally Potter, "among others," but until we get our hands on the print edition, we'll have to make do with what is online, which, after all, is plenty: Patrick Z McGavin on Dave Kehr's When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade, Richard James Havis on Kyung Hyun Kim's Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era, Andrew Horton on New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History and Henry K Miller on Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema and The New Extremism in Cinema: From France to Europe. And that's just the book reviews.

Besides the interviews with Mona Achache and Charlotte Rampling and festival reports (Locarno, Toronto and Montreal), the 15 reviews include David Sterritt on Kubrick's The Killing (1956), Joseph Luzzi on Raffaello Matarazzo,
See full article at MUBI »

This Week In Trailers: Among Us, Dark Girls, Carré blanc, The Hedgehog, Headhunters, Eye Of The Storm

  • Slash Film
This Week In Trailers: Among Us, Dark Girls, Carré blanc, The Hedgehog, Headhunters, Eye Of The Storm
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers? Eye Of The Storm Trailer I like this kind of story, I do. It's familiar territory, to be sure, but if there's someone who I
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The Hedgehog – review

Based on a bestselling novel by the Moroccan-born French novelist Muriel Barbery, Mona Achache's debut as writer-director looks at a hypocritical adult world through the eyes of the lonely, precocious 11-year-old Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic). She's making a testamentary documentary about her haut-bourgeois family whom she despises and about the neighbours in their smart Parisian apartment block, as she plans to commit suicide on her 12th birthday. It's a brisk, touching comedy with a deliberately shocking climax and attractive performances from Josiane Balasko and Togo Igawa as the two people who change Paloma's understanding of life. The former is a self-taught concierge, who deliberately conceals her great intelligence and sensitivity to literature and the arts, the latter a kindly Japanese businessman, happily named Ozu, who appreciates the concierge's worth.

ComedyPhilip French © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new films

Kill List (18)

(Ben Wheatley, 2011, UK) Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiley, Emma Fryer. 95 mins

Who knew there was a missing link between Mike Leigh, Andy McNab and The Wicker Man? That's how unpredictable this macabre and outlandish tale is, but it unfolds in a credible modern-day Britain scarred by foreign wars and domestic recession. Circumstances lead a blokey hitman and his partner to accept a dodgy new assignment – and by the time they start asking questions, it's too late.

Attenberg (18)

(Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010, Gre) Ariane Labed, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelina Randou. 97 mins

Fans of Dogtooth will be ready for another prime dose of Greek oddness. Beneath the animal impersonations, silly walks and bad sex lies an intelligent, intimate study of human behaviour.

Fright Night (15)

(Craig Gillespie, 2011, Us) Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant. 106 mins

A teen vampire horror remake that benefits from superior effects, a shrewd Las Vegas setting, and some lively comedy.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Hedgehog Movie Review

The Hedgehog Movie Review
Title: The Hedgehog Director: Mona Achache Starring: Garance Le Guillermic, Josiane Balasko, Togo Igawa Somewhere, no doubt, adult film actor and shameless publicity whore Ron Jeremy is kicking himself over finding out that there exists a movie entitled “The Hedgehog” in which he is not the star, or the beneficiary of a large life-rights check. No, director Mona Achache’s movie is no hairy skin-flick biopic, but instead a darkly comedic broadside aimed at stuffy French elitism, a movie very loosely of a sort with “Gosford Park” and the forthcoming “The Women on the 6th Floor,” written and directed by Philippe Le Guay. Based on Muriel Barbery’s 2006 French-language novel “The Elegance...
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Weekly Film Music Roundup (August 19, 2011)

Four new movies are opening wide this weekend:

Opening in almost 3000 theaters is the horror comedy Fright Night directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Please, David Tennant and Toni Collette. The film’s music is composed by Ramin Djawadi. A soundtrack CD will be released on August 30, 2011 by Varese Sarabande. The album is already available to download on iTunes, where you can also listen to audio clips. Check out our soundtrack announcement for more details.

Also opening wide is the action remake of Conan the Barbarian directed by Marcus Nispel and starring Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rachel Nichols, Rose McGowan and Stephen Lang. Warner Bros Records has released a soundtrack album featuring the film’s music by Tyler Bates. For more details and audio clips, visit our previous article. Also check out a lengthy audio interview with the composer on Film Music Magazine, as well
See full article at Film Music Reporter »

French Actress Josiane Balasko on Why ‘The Hedgehog’ Isn’t ‘Pretty Woman’

French Actress Josiane Balasko on Why ‘The Hedgehog’ Isn’t ‘Pretty Woman’
Everett Josiane Balasko in “The Hedgehog”

To play the part of Renée Michel, actress Josiane Balasko shaved her eyebrows off and wore a nappy wig. She was restricted to the palette of brown, black and grey, and never really smiled. But as Balasko sat casually smoking on the roof deck of a midtown building in New York, she was chuckling, her red lips constantly breaking into a smile.

Balasko formed one part of the two-character “fable” that is the film,
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

The Hedgehog Movie Review

NeoClassics Films

At the ripe, old age of nearly twelve, Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) has decided that life is futile, and riddled with ridiculous hypocrisy, and she's decided to opt out. What's moving, telling, and ultimately brilliant about her decision is that her plan to kill herself on her next birthday is perhaps one of the most thought out, and well-reasoned decisions she has run across.

The daughter of wealthy parents - a father who, very "averagely," spends so much time on work, that he has little left to spend with his family, and a mother who talks to her plants more than anyone else, has quite the cocktail of "therapy helpers," and is the purpose behind creating the phrase, "flitting about the house" - Paloma can find little about life that makes an argument for meaningful connection... with anything.

Wise miles beyond her years, Paloma has decided to make
See full article at AreYouScreening » Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to ‘The Hedgehog’ at Chicago French Film Festival

Chicago – In our special French film festival edition of Hookup: Film, we have 50 admit-two passes up for grabs to the Chicago showing of the film “The Hedgehog” at the closing night of the Music Box Theatre’s Chicago French Film Festival! “The Hedgehog” star Josiane Balasko will be at this showing in person!

The film’s original title is “Le hérisson”. “The Hedgehog” stars Josiane Balasko, Garance Le Guillermic, Togo Igawa, Anne Brochet, Ariane Ascaride, Wladimir Yordanoff, Sarah Lepicard, Jean-Luc Porraz and Gisèle Casadesus from writer and director Mona Achache based on the novel by Muriel Barbery.

To win your free pass to the closing-night Chicago showing of “The Hedgehog” at the Chicago French Film Festival courtesy of, just answer our question below. That’s it! This showing is on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Directions to enter this
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Film News: Music Box Theatre to Debut Chicago French Film Festival

Chicago – For the first time, a foreign film festival in Chicago will focus solely on the latest and greatest works from France. On July 22nd, the Music Box Theatre will kick off its three-day inaugural festival of French cinema, featuring eight pictures that have recently garnered praise from audiences and festival goers around the globe. It may prove to be just the ticket for movie buffs bored with summer blockbusters and outdated superheroes.

Bookending this year’s festival are appearances by two major figures in the French film industry. Director/co-writer Jean-Pierre Améris will be present for the opening night screening of his neurotic comedy, “Romantics Anonymous,” starring Benoît Poelvoorde (“Man Bites Dog”) and Isabelle Carré (“Private Fears in Public Places”). The picture was a surprise hit in France, thus rekindling interest in Améris’s acclaimed body of work (his 2004 drama “Lightweight” was screened at Cannes).

One of the country’s most respected veteran actresses,
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