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What could be better for the village than a scenic railway to bring in the tourists? What could be worse for tourism than war? Luka builds the railway and shuts his eyes to war. Then Luka's wife runs off with a musician and his son is called up to the army. Luka's life is a war zone. Then he meets Sabaha..
Lolita, plump, in her 20s, desperately wants her father's attention. He's egotistical, a famous writer and publisher with an attractive wife little older than Lolita. She's in a choir, rehearsing for a concert; she's given her father a tape, which he's yet to listen to. Sylvia, a voice coach, is willing to help the group, knowing she'll have a chance to get her husband's new novel in front of Lolita's father. For Lolita, this is a pattern: people pay attention to her to gain access to him, something she fears is the intent of Sébastien, a struggling journalist who may become her boyfriend. The night of the concert, the music may bring out everyone's feelings. Written by
A superb comedy/drama. Agnés Jaoui, who co-wrote and directed, also has a major acting role in this story of several people who buzz around a self-centered, rich and famous writer and publisher. His teenage daughter, Lolita, who is desperate for his attention, is pretty and a talented singer, but overweight, with low self-esteem. She is resigned to guys asking her out in order to get the opportunity to pitch projects to her father. Jaoui is the Lolita's voice teacher. She also uses the young women to advance her husband's unsuccessful writing career, but later comes to regret her actions. Marilou Berry is fine as Lolita. Jean-Pierre Bacri gives a human face to the egotistical father. Bacri makes him a man who simply cannot understand how his actions no matter how cruel could possibly be taken badly. All of the other performers, including Jaoui, do outstanding jobs. This is the kind of character-driven comedy that we hope to get every time we see a new Woody Allen movie. But Woody has disappointed us for so long and so many times that maybe we can now recognize a new talented triple-threat. I am already looking forward to the next Agnés Jaoui film.
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