|Index||3 reviews in total|
It's about money as a defining characteristic for a personality hence
defining the way people deal with love... and life. [Le Coût de la vie]
tells the stories of four characters, living in Lyon, inside the same
narrative circle and with the recurring concern being the relation between
their lives, money and love.
On the whole Brett 'the Scrooge' (Luchini) and Coway 'The Generous Anxious guy' (Lindon) are the more elaborate parts. Well it's always difficult to draw up an original depiction for the scrooge type, or to do well with Vincent Lindon, typecast as the troubled husband, but the actors bring the right emotion to the screen in the right moments. In between those adults proceedings you've got the parts of a junior (Isild Le Besco) and a senior (Claude Rich) character, both more anecdotic even after we're told a little more about them in the end.
Skipping from one story to the other brings a good pace right from the start. It creates a lively atmosphere but it also brings about frustration when you just happen to catch a glimpse from one character to jump to something else. It's like you'd end up flying over all those people not really caring for them, just waiting for some funny thing to happen.
Eventually the big flaw with that kind of narration is you never get somewhere. You got in the train with nice people then you get off: it was a nice trip but not an affair to remember. Once and again a case of "Slices of life vs. slices of cake."
This is one of the most engaging, well-constructed and satisfying
comedies to come from France in recent years. It reminds me of some of
Jean-Paul Rappeneau's classics--I can't give higher praise. The subject
here is money: who has it, who wants it and who is resourceful enough
to get it. Fabrice Luchini plays a software executive who is incredibly
tight-fisted; we see him trying to duck out of paying the bill at a
restaurant, and taking his contribution out of a fund for a retiring
employee. He meets his match in a prostitute (played unforgettably by
Géraldine Pailhas) who knows exactly how to mulct money from a man
whose emotional development has been arrested by his avarice.
Vincent Lindon's character has the reverse problem: his restaurant is failing because his money-managing skills are non-existent. He's got the bailiff on his back (wonderful performance by Bernard Bloch) and his pregnant wife is trying to impose her family wealth on him. The supporting actors are fine; Claude Rich and Isild Le Besco are a father and daughter boiling with unresolved issues around his great wealth.
Philippe Le Guay has written some films that stick in my memory (Outremer and Post coitum animal triste) and Le coût de la vie is a very fine effort indeed.
As always, another French movie without subtitles so if you are
hard-of-hearing, you say bye-bye to the story and you dream a day when
subtitles would be legally compulsory! But our "democatric" parliament
prefers to pass law for consolidating elites, enslaving Internet or
erasing freedom of belief!
Thus this movie transformed in short cuts for me, only looking for the scenes with Geraldine Pailhas because she is among my favorite movie stars. Here, she is Elena, an expensive call girl who maybe falls in love with an abusive penny pincher. It's maybe her first teasing character but she isn't on the front line. Too bad!
For the rest, the penny grinner is funny because of his pains, his duplicity and his misadventures. Beyond, I can't tell anything except that for one time, the story takes place in Lyon and not in Paris. Oh, it's also funny to see a teen arguing with her parents to work in a restaurant because it happened to me without having 8 millions euros waiting!
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