In the middle of the night, someone brings Ivan's body home to his wife and his sad-faced, jug-eared son. Through flashbacks, the film discloses the relationships among Ivan and his brother... See full summary »
Old woman Berthe leaves her house to live in her daugter Emilie's one. Emilie and her brother Antoine have fallen out three years ago and have not seen each other since, but Emilie invites ... See full summary »
July 2006. Another war breaks out in Lebanon. The directors decide to follow a movie star, Catherine Deneuve and a friend, actor and artist Rabih Mroue;, on the roads of South Lebanon. ... See full summary »
Everything is complicated in Yoni's life. He's almost 13, real gifted, but physically undeveloped and struggles daily to grow up before his threatening up-coming Bar Mitzva; He sells ... See full summary »
In Tangier, intercontinental truck driver Serge is in love with Sarah, but is in some trouble of his own. Film generally concerns Moroccans with various relationships with the country: ... See full summary »
Palestinian testimonies collected after the second Intifada revealed a harsh daily life reality that, for Israelis, had always belonged to the "others" - the Palestinians - and hence was ... See full summary »
Jeanne is a young woman, striking but otherwise without qualities. Her mother tries to get her a job in the office of a lawyer, Bleistein, her lover years ago. Jeanne fails the interview but falls into a relationship with Franck, a wrestler whose dreams and claims of being in a legitimate business partnership Jeanne is only too happy to believe. When Franck is arrested, he turns on Jeanne for her naivety; she's stung and seeks attention by making up a story of an attack on a train. Is there any way out for her? In a subplot, Bleistein's grandson, Nathan, prepares for his bar mitzvah and, through an encounter with Jeanne, experiences intimations of manhood. Written by
Frustrating, a key social theme diluted and squandered
The Girl on the Train (2009)
The hook that made this movie successful is not enough to make the movie good. The added plot in the first half fizzles and seems ultimately irrelevant. Yes, the main actress plays the part of an "airhead," as the subtitle translates her stupidity. But the movie itself has some of the same disease. It lacks formal intelligence, and it stretches out a few basic ideas over 105 minutes, posing as a serious movie with serious implications.
Not that it's misery to watch. In a way, the fact that you get sucked in waiting and waiting for some basic conflict to formulate says something about the acting and editing. This is contemporary Paris, or a cozy, idealized side to it. And you can't dismiss the theme of anti-Semitism, which gets some elaboration and complexity as you go, including some great, if simplified, conversations between Jews at their country house about what it means to be a contemporary Jew. It's conveniently packaged, but adds some needed interest to the events.
This leads eventually to a rather long and oddly placed bar mitzvah celebration, and some more roller blading filler. It's a frustrating thing to see all this content watered down by a single turn of events, the faked hate crime attack, which happens well past the halfway point of the movie. And around which the suspense of being fooled is left out of the movie, because we are told everything as it happens.
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