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Pierre, a professional dancer, suffers from a serious heart disease. While he is waiting for a transplant which may (or may not) save his life, he has nothing better to do than look at the people around him, from the balcony of his Paris apartment. When Elise, his sister with three kids and no husband, moves in to his place to care for him, Pierre does not change his new habits. And instead of dancing himself, it is Paris and the Parisians who dance before his eyes. Written by
The movie is mostly made of vignettes following several characters, loosely interconnected in the city of Paris. Sounds familiar. To be honest, I've grown tired of the many dramas borrowing that formula. It's become an epidemic, especially since Magnolia. And so, I did not expect to enjoy Paris all that much. But I loved it and it moved me by its stripped down, sincere approach.
Director and writer Cédric Klapisch, unlike several of his contemporaries, did not feel the need to employ convoluted means to link these characters, or end the movie on some sort of unifying, highly artificial bang. Klapish wisely elects to concentrate on building strong characters. He succeeds, so much so that it becomes easy for him to create simple, believable story lines for them. The real link between them? They are fallible, restless, tentative, longing... in other words, they are human.
There's a large cast here and Klepish mostly concentrates on a few of them. Many of the smaller parts are actually as intriguing as the bigger roles and I caught myself wondering what would happen to those characters. But Klapisch stays the course and ends the movie much like it began. A lot is left unresolved, much like life. No Hollywood ending here but I could certainly have followed those characters for another hour if need be.
A beautiful, stripped down story but enough subtext and genuine quality to make for a great and lasting movie experience.
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