As a little girl, Federica fantasized about having beautiful long hair that would grow back as soon as she cut it, about never-ending cones of cotton candy and about countless adventures ... See full summary »
France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and ... See full summary »
Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
Pomme and Pierre have been together a long time. Passion and spontaneity have given way to predictability and cold shoulders. On a hike together one afternoon, Pomme declares her ... See full summary »
They were the perfect loving couple, well, almost.Emmanuel wanted a child but Philippe didn't. One day, however, Emmanuel decides to take the plunge, at the risk of losing Philippe. But how do you make a child when you are gay?
Pilar López de Ayala,
A feel good film about depressions. About being able to do it all, but losing it in a severe anxiety attack. About controlling angst together with the family, and be able to laugh of it all, even the electro shocks.
Emmanuelle Devos is a wonder to behold in Gentille, which is something of a wonder in itself. Some of the American reviewers of this film seem to have a problem in 'labelling' or 'placing' it -- there are, in other words, no common comedic 'markers' to roll audiences into the aisles.
The film is, in fact, very funny, and it's meant to be. It's all in the characters' posturing, glances and nuances, both tacit and spoken. If you don't pay attention, you'll be scatching in too many places.
Devos plays a doctor in a clinic, and the viewer is never really sure if she, like the always-brilliant Lambert Wilson (and just about everyone else in this film), is either flat-out nuts or well on the way. Characters are frequently asking: 'Don't I know you?'; 'What are you looking at?' or 'Do you see me?' They are always fearful of either being forgotten, or not being recognized, or being mistaken for someone else. Names and words become mangled (no one seems to know Wilson's full name, so he ends up being called Philippe Philippe). It's a film about identity and recognition, the nature of what is real and what isn't, and if we can ever really know each other.
This thematic motif is consistent throughout the film, yet American critics will miss it if they are looking for those familiar 'markers' that denote so many obvious American 'comedies'.
Maybe you have to be a true believer in French-style send-ups to really appreciate this gem. Everyone is off-centre here, and that's the way writer-director Sophie Fillieres wants us to view her world. I like her world, because to me it has a strong philosophical ring to it. The film is uniquely French or European in general: taking profound themes and somehow turning them into brilliant comedy, with nary a wacky chase or a pratfall in sight.
The 10 minutes with the marvelous Michael Lonsdale, playing a barely contained nutcase who may -- or may not be -- Devos's future father-in-law, is a masterwork of understated, classic comedic acting. Bandaged, bearded and bedraggled, he explains how he 'recovered' his place in the world, his 'dignity' if you will, after two years of begging on the streets while pretending to be in Costa Rica. His intensity while telling Devos that he watched his wife passing him every day and 'not seeing me' (that motif again) is worth the price of this DVD alone. The acting in this film is first-rate, much like the film itself.
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