After hiding his loot and getting thrown in jail, Ruby, a brooding outlaw encounters Quentin, a dim-witted and garrulous giant who befriends him. After Quentin botches a solo escape attempt... See full summary »
Between Alice, a hospital nurse and Aldo, a shampoo sales representative, things have turned sour of late. Alice blames her husband for lacking ambition and contemplates divorce.One day ... See full summary »
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi,
Successful playwright Felix Webb has a new play, 'The Hit Man', in rehearsal. Directed by his old friend Humphrey, it is already being hailed as a masterpiece; but Felix can't enjoy his ... See full summary »
Max, a master thief, is spending some time behind bars, having been captured by a determined and crafty police officer. He has hidden a sizable amount of gold in Italy and is patiently ... See full summary »
Two converging story lines involving corrupt cops ripping off drug dealers and serial killers are followed as former drug dealer Lucky, trying to go straight after doing a prison stint, ... See full summary »
In 1671, with war brewing with Holland, a penniless prince invites Louis XIV to three days of festivities at a chateau in Chantilly. The prince wants a commission as a general, so the ... See full summary »
An old woman finds a baby among the cauliflowers in her garden. She takes care of the orphan, and calls him Totò. When she dies, he is sent to an orphanage, which he leaves as a teenager. ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Although I don't want to write a tribute to Bernard Giraudeau with this review, I have to say that his death three days ago (on July 17, 2010) has affected me and it is not without some afterthoughts that I write this. One of the leads of French cinema in the 1980s, Bernard Giraudeau was never satisfied with his persona on screen: cast as a seducer in his first films, he later played more tortured characters. Jean-François de La Plaine, the main character of "Les caprices d'un fleuve", belongs to this category and is certainly a complex one. In 1786, after a duel, this French aristocrat is exiled to a French colony in West Africa on the banks of the Senegal river. There, as governor, he presides over a thriving slave trade. He takes a Mulatto woman as his lover and slowly awakens to love for a young local girl named Amélie.
Giraudeau, an actor/director/writer noted for his humanism, apparently wanted to tell a sort of philosophical tale. Indeed, there is a parallel between the distant tumults of the French revolution and its aftermath and La Plaine's experiences in Africa, as he moves from a world where slavery and privileges go unquestioned to wider horizons; yet as France is in turmoil, time seems to stand still on the coast of Senegal. Giraudeau had definitely something to say on the color of love and prejudice. His film conveys nicely his message, but not always in the best way. On the positive side, "Les caprices..." has a good and concerned supportive cast (after shooting this film, Richard Bohringer took the Senegalese citizenship), a sumptuous cinematography and a beautiful score, a superb mix between 18th century music and African music. But unfortunately the weak characterization and the languid pace turn the film into a rather cold piece of work, when this universal story should have been more touching and moving to allow the viewer to reflect on human condition. In spite of a good and original script, I have to say that Giraudeau did not fully attain his goal. However, "Les caprices..." is worth watching, at least for some valuable lessons in History.
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