13 items from 2014
★★★★☆Cédric Klapisch's lively romantic comedy, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, is the final chapter in his 'Spanish Apartment Trilogy', which began with the titular The Spanish Apartment (2002). As the name suggests, Chinese Puzzle (2013) is a colourful mishmash of different characters' stories, sub-plots and intersecting timelines. There's also a clever meta-textual commentary running through the film. Writer Xavier Rousseau is approaching 40 when his wife of ten years, Wendy (Kelly Reilly), announces that she is leaving him and moving to New York City with their children. Inconsolable without his family, Xavier decides to follow them to the Big Apple, where he hopes to finish his latest book.
- CineVue UK
He first went to study film in New York when he was 23. French director Cédric Klapisch, now 53, returned to the city for Chinese Puzzle, the third part of the comedy trilogy that started with Pot Luck (L’Auberge Espagnole) in Barcelona in 2002 and continued three years after in St Petersburg and London for Russian Dolls (Les Poupées Russes), all featuring the same characters falling in and out of love. Now Xavier, economics student turned writer and played by Romain Duris, heads for the Big Apple to be near his children who live with his ex Wendy, portrayed by Kelly Reilly. Former girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) turns up – and there’s also Cecile de France from the original as Xavier’s lesbian friend Isabelle. How did Klapisch sustain the momentum of the characters and what does it feel like to grow old with them? »
- Richard Mowe
Capturing basic human interactions on film isn’t as easy as you’d think. Too often screenwriters and directors retreat into cliched dialogue and stock characters to the point where the people on screen feel as artificial as any rampaging CG monster. Cédric Klapisch’s Chinese Puzzle is different though, effortlessly serving up a blizzard of well observed moments, shifting relationships and fragments of honest emotion. This is that annoyingly rare thing: a film that really understands the complexities – the soaring joys and the crushing miseries – of modern love.
Our hero is Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris), a 40 year old writer navigating some pretty choppy relationship waters. Framed through a Skype conversation with his publisher, we track his friendships and romances with three women; businesswoman and old flame Martine (Audrey Tautou), his lesbian best friend Isabelle (Cecile de France), and Wendy (Kelly Reilly), his estranged ex-wife and mother of his two children. »
- David James
Over the course of 20 years, legendary French director Francois Truffaut created a series of five semi-autobiographical films that explored the life of Antoine Doinel. The character was introduced in 1959 and viewers around the world watched him grow up on screen from a 12-year-old in The 400 Blows into a man in his early thirties in 1979's Love On The Run.
With Chinese Puzzle, which opens Friday in Austin at Regal Arbor, Cedric Klapisch has completed his "Spanish Apartment" trilogy and given us a contemporary series that certainly owes a lot to Truffaut's Doinel films. When we first meet Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris) in 2002's L'Auberge Espagnole, he is in his early twenties and taking off for the Erasmus student exchange program. He leaves France and his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) behind to spend a year in Barcelona studying finance. Xavier makes lifelong friends with the roommates he shares in a small Spanish apartment, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The path to true happiness is strewn with thorns, and hedged in by emotions and personalities that often spiral out of control. That appears to be the overriding theme of the three films that Cédric Klapisch has made revolving around Xavier Rousseau, a ladies' man who has evolved into a family man without quite realizing it. The latest, Chinese Puzzle, is the strongest of them all. We first met Xavier (Romain Duris), Martine (Audrey Tautou), Isabelle (Cécile De France), and Wendy (Kelly Reilly) way back in L'Auburge Espagnole (aka The Spanish Apartment, 2002). Xavier and Martine were a couple; he was an economics student who moved to Barcelona for a year, where he met the others, part of a mélange of Europeans from different countries...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Here's a rundown of the specialty box office this weekend, which saw Cédric Klapisch's "Chinese Puzzle" find a promising debut, James Gray's much more anticipated "The Immigrant" fail to make much of an impression, and "Chef," "Ida," "Belle" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" all hold on nicely later in their runs. The Debuts: Debut Winner of the Weekend: "Chinese Puzzle." While James Gray's "The Immigrant" had a higher per-theater-average, it had a lot of star power and the backing of The Weinstein Company. Which is why the fact that "Chinese Puzzle" just narrowly lost the PTA crown to it this weekend is so impressive. Released by Cohen Media Group, Cédric Klapisch's film follows a 40-year-old French father of two (Roman Duris) who heads to New York when the his wife leaves him and takes the children there. It comes after 2002's "L'Auberge Espagnole" and 2005's "Russian Dolls »
- Peter Knegt
Filmmaker Cedric Klapisch and French actor Romain Duris reunite for their seventh film together, Chinese Puzzle, which is actually the third installment of a series of films that revisit the characters introduced in the international hit L'Auberge Espagnole. Duris returns as writer Xavier Rousseau, now living in New York City, and he's joined once again by Audrey Tautou, Cecile de France and Kelly Reilly. »
As the American university industry makes study abroad programs all but mandatory and damn luxurious at that, it can be tempting to write off Cédric Klapisch's films as idealistic romps, prepackaged adventures for the privileged class who can actually afford to enact them. But his Trilogy of Xavier's Travels predates the politics, and over a decade since the series started, it's still that same earnest tribute to the thrills of taking on a new locale.
In this final installment, Xavier (Romain Duris) and the friends he originally made in L'Auberge Espagnole (2002) are on the brink of 40. Two kids and two unsuccessful novels into life, intrepid writer Xavier is off to New York this time, as a last-ditch attempt to salvage his family in the wake of an impromptu divor »
"It's funny that you find life so complicated." Today's indie trailer is for a film called Chinese Puzzle, or Casse-tête chinois in French, another third film in a charming romantic comedy trilogy about a couple and their lives over the years. The film features the same cast/characters from Cédric Klapisch's Russian Dolls and The Spanish Apartment, including Romain Duris as Xavier Rousseau, along with Audrey Tautou, Kelly Reilly, Toshiko Onizawa, Cécile de France and Sandrine Holt. While it is a French film, they do speak English and it takes place mostly in New York City, and doesn't look that bad at all. I'll check it out. Watch the official trailer for Cédric Klapisch's Chinese Puzzle, found via YouTube: A 40-year-old father of two, still finds life very complicated. When the mother of his children moves to New York, he can't bear them growing up far away from »
- Alex Billington
Already megawatt stars in France, Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris have seen their star shine across international borders too. And together they make a pretty attractive package. While they most recently teamed for Michel Gondry's "Mood Indigo," the duo are perhaps best known for their ensemble dramedies with director Cédric Klapisch, "Pot Luck" and "Russian Dolls." And they've once again teamed with the filmmaker for another tale in the saga started in those movies. "Chinese Puzzle" brings together a cast that also includes Kelly Reilly, Cecile De France, Sandrine Holt and more, for the story of a 40-year-old father of two, who splits from his wife who moves with the kids to New York City. He follows along to be closer to his children, but in order to stay in the country, he becomes the father of a child to two lesbians, marries a Chinese woman and also winds »
- Kevin Jagernauth
"L'Auberge Espagnole," "Russian Dolls" -- now "Chinese Puzzle," the third installment of Cédric Klapisch's trilogy about a group of international friends, has arrived, and premieres in New York and Los Angeles on May 16th before expanded in following weeks. After his ex-wife Wendy (Kelly Reilly) leaves him in Paris to move with their kids to New York, Xavier (Romain Duris) follows his family to the city and attempts to piece together a life while writing a novel and basically un-jumbling everything else. "Chinese Puzzle" was a big hit in its native France and stars Duris and Reilly as well as Audrey Tautou and Cécile De France from the two earlier films in the trilogy. Check out the colors, charmingly awkward tensions and fun dance sequences in the trailer, exclusive to Indiewire, below: »
- Taylor Lindsay
City of Lights, City of Angels (Colcoa), a week of French film premieres in Hollywood, has rolled out a terrific lineup of seven classic films for the 18th edition of the festival, running April 21-28 at the DGA. Screenings will supplement new films in the competition lineup, which will be announced April 1. Colcoa will honor writer honor writer-director Cedric Klapisch on Thursday, April 24 with a special presentation of "L'Auberge Espagnole" (2002) as well as the Premiere of his new film "Chinese Puzzle" that will be released in May in the U.S. by Cohen Media Group. The fest will also screen late writer/director Patrice Chereau's 1994 director's cut of "Queen Margot," based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas and starring Isabelle Adjani, Jean-Hugues Anglade and Daniel Auteuil. Digitally restored prints of Jean Cocteau's 1946 classic "Beauty and the Beast" starring Josette Day and Jean Marais, and a new print of »
- Ryan Lattanzio
On his travels: a scene from Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet.
With the buyers and sellers safely despatched from Paris to Sundance this weekend it's the turn of the international media to move into the Grand Hotel for interviews with more than 100 actors and directors lining up for films to be released shortly in different countries as part of the 16th Unifrance Rendez-vous With French Cinema.
Among the talent talking up their films is Audrey Tautou (for the third part in the Pot Luck series, Chinese Puzzle, as well as Michel Gondry’s Blue Indigo after Boris Vian); Tautou’s Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet with his new title The Young And Prodigious T.S. Spivet with Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis and Callum Keith Rennie; Ludivine Sagnier for the romcom Love Is In The Air and former footballer Eric Cantona joining an orgy »
- Richard Mowe
13 items from 2014