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Odette Toulemonde (2006)

Odette dreams of thanking Balthazar Balsan, her favorite writer, for the optimism which she believes emanates from him. The wealthy and seductive writer is going to land in her life in a ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Odette Toulemonde
...
Balthazar Balsan
Jacques Weber ...
Olaf Pims
Alain Doutey ...
L'éditeur
Camille Japy ...
Nadine
Fabrice Murgia ...
Rudy
Nina Drecq ...
Sue Helen
Jacqueline Bir ...
La dame sèche
Laurence d'Amelio ...
Isabelle Balsan
Julien Frison ...
François
Erik Burke ...
Filip
Aïssatou Diop ...
Florence
Nicolas Buysse ...
Polo
Bruno Metzger ...
Jésus
Cindy Besson ...
La cliente battue
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Storyline

Odette dreams of thanking Balthazar Balsan, her favorite writer, for the optimism which she believes emanates from him. The wealthy and seductive writer is going to land in her life in a totally unexpected way. The story of a meeting between two unusual castaways who have nothing in common... Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

7 February 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Odette, una comedia sobre la felicidad  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
All about Catherine Frot
29 September 2008 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Catherine Frot is a sweet-faced, sprightly French actress who looks a decade younger than her 52 years. She's also sexy in her inimitable way, and she's always watchable and versatile (she often plays confused, if not ditzy, characters, but she can turn on the drama too; see The Page Turner).

Frot has a tendency to carry any film she's in. She's one of those few actors who just lights up the screen. Alas, when the camera's not on her, borderline 'good' films like this one suddenly lose a great deal of appeal. In short, if Frot weren't in this film, I'm not sure how redeemable it would be.

Frot plays Odette Toulemonde (loose translation: 'Odette Everyone/Everywhere'), a cheerful, unworldly, dreamy sales clerk who loves the sappy books of author Balthazar Balsan (Albert Dupontel, who in real life is 10 years younger than Frot). Odette writes Balthazar a letter that, in her simple way, is profound, and inspires the writer, a sophisticated, womanizing Parisian who quotes Proust, to uproot himself and suddenly appear at Odette's house in a small Belgian town. This internationally famous writer begs to stay with her. This is all highly implausible of course, but 'Odette' is a fantasy film more than anything else, so plausibility is a non-issue.

This has been called 'a feel-good' film. That might be true, but it also strains credulity to make us feel 'good'. Noticeably, after a promising first half, it begins to bog down in the second, showing its deficiencies by becoming frequently boring and clichéd (e.g. the all-too-familiar sullen, alienated daughter and the upbeat gay son). The film doesn't quite know where its focus is supposed to be. But if you're an incurable romantic, you might well overlook its flaws and love it. For me, it was worth watching just to see Catherine Frot scale the heights and conquer once more.


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