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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

weird alcoholic movie

2/10
Author: jchantefort from France
9 January 2005

the cast bodes well. Emmanuelle Beart is one of the finest French actress of the pas decades and appearances from Jacky Berroyer are always crowd favourites. However the movie misses the point. by a mile.

Set in a French ski resort (Avoriaz?), 3 lost characters are on the edge of losing the plot. So was I. Alcohol is the main topic and is recurrent throughout the movie,from drunken parties to lonely sips.

Emmanuelle Beart stars as a lost bimbo, close from prostitution in the little microcosm of the resort. The comedy comes solely when the supporting cast comes along, but altogether to rarely to categorize the movie as such. In the end I felt confused, as the movie seems to lose its focus, just like a drunk. Maybe that was the aim. If it was, that was lost on me...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

French fun in an Alpine setting, with lots of drunken humour, but maybe not too many belly-laughs!

8/10
Author: uncledavey80 from London, ENGLAND
6 August 2012

I really enjoy this film. For me it is one of those films, a bit like Sideways, which take the place, as you get older, of films you may have watched before, like Dazed and Confused, Kicking and Screaming or Swingers. The themes relevant to all of these stories are the drop-out protagonists, a sort of self destructive alcohol consumption, empathy for the loser, and following characters through scenarios rather than following a storyline.

And this is what shines through A Boire. The film revolves around Edouard Baer's character (Pierre-Marie) who, at the failing of his marriage, takes up a temporary posting as a GP Doctor at a tourist ski resort. His escape from his life commences with a descent into alcoholism as we follow this unorthodox character's sad and lonesome tale. Meanwhile several other unorthodox and maladjusted characters also arrive in the little ski town, and a chance event brings these misfits together, for better or worse. A romantic connection is made between the doctor and Emmanuelle Béart's character, Inès, whose rich older partner leaves her suddenly, with a €12,000 hotel bill and no money. The third character who brings the group together is Seb Abd Al Abbas - on a skiing holiday for the first time, his holiday is ruined when he breaks his arm as soon as he arrives and is stranded in a town which revolves around skiing and an apres-ski culture his religion denies him access to.

The film is really about these three misfits, thrown together in their exile, and their relationship develops as the film goes on and we see how in turn the characters help, as much as hinder, each other's predicaments.

There is some typically obvious French comedy involved, and some typically dark French humour, and the film is very amusing - but do not expect any belly laughs, it's perhaps more whimsical than that. If you do not care about the characters then you probably will not enjoy the film, as it really is very character driven. And it also investigates all the characters' failings - everybody in the film is flawed, though some more than others. In keeping with the fairly standard premise, the film keeps your attention between comedy set-pieces with the romantic interest - can Pierre-Marie save Ines from her wasted life, can Ines save Pierre-Marie from his descent into alcoholism and can they offer each other a reason to live? And there is development between both of these cast-out loners and Seb, who appears to be alone but desperately in search of friendship. However it's more the fun of watching the situations they get into, than what will become of the characters, which entices the viewer.

The Seb character is also interesting as it is the centre of a typically French bit of humour - in the UK there would probably be outrage at a storyline where an alcoholic entices a young Muslim to break the conventions of his faith! But in France it's just taken as the protagonist leading the innocent astray, which leads to comedy moments. But, although touching on a sensitive subject, it is funny. As is watching the doctor show up late to surgery completely drunk, straight from a night out, or the three misfits sat quietly isolated in a busy nightclub, drink driving incidents, what happens to Ines' fleeing partner after all, the young and innocent Seb getting completely wasted and generally the three of them drunkenly stumbling around town from one incident to another.

All in all, this is not the best film ever, by far. However I find it compelling and just fun to watch, and the characters really are sympathetic, beautifully flawed, and engaging.

To complete the enjoyment, make sure you open a bottle, or two, and maybe have a couple shots on standby, and let A Boire take you on a funny, and very drunken, journey to the Alpes! You'll feel afterwards like you were there with them.

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