Listening in to a conversation between his doctor and parents, 10-year-old Oscar learns what nobody has the courage to tell him. He only has a few weeks to live. Furious, he refuses to ... See full summary »
Listening in to a conversation between his doctor and parents, 10-year-old Oscar learns what nobody has the courage to tell him. He only has a few weeks to live. Furious, he refuses to speak to anyone except straight-talking Rose, the lady in pink he meets on the hospital stairs. As Christmas approaches, Rose uses her fantastical experiences as a professional wrestler, her imagination, wit and charm to allow Oscar to live life and love to the full, in the company of his friends Pop Corn, Einstein, Bacon and childhood sweetheart Peggy Blue. Written by
American Film Market
Nice take on childhood in philosophical and realistic fairy tale
Saw this at a screening in Toulouse yesterday, before the national release, with writer/director Schmitt present afterwards to answer the audience's questions and talk about the film. I haven't seen his first feature, ODETTE TOULEMONDE, nor have I read any of his books and I went to Oscar ET LA DAME ROSE mostly intrigued by the presence of Max Von Sydow, one of cinema's best actors, and a welcome return to film scoring by great composer/musician Michel Legrand. I was fortunate enough to ask Schmitt about both Von Sydow and Legrand. Schmitt said Legrand has been a friend of his and a fan of the book for years (OSCAR was a play, then a novel, now a film) so it was he who told Schmitt he wanted to score the movie. The music is wonderful and has an important place in the picture (75 minutes were recorded and used). Its "fairy tale" quality at times evokes the scores for the films of Jacques Demy. As to the film, it's competently helm-ed, although no masterpiece. You cannot help but be moved to tears by the story (tackling the touchy subject of the illness and death of a child) and the performance of young actor Amir. Michèle Laroque was an obvious choice for the role, hers is a character of many flaws every spectator can relate to, and the role allows her to switch from comedy (mostly) to drama (a bit). Max Von Sydow is wonderful as he always is, although at 80 maybe a bit old to play a working doctor in a children's hospital... (He seems to also play a doctor in Scorsese's forthcoming SHUTTER ISLAND, and in truth has played other doctors throughout his career, like in AWAKENING for example). Von Sydow speaks his part in French (he has both French and Swedish nationalities), and Schmitt said he also wanted to be part of the project because he had read and liked his books. His role as Dr. Dusseldorf is quite important, not merely in the background, which was a pleasant surprise: his dignified, tall, authoritative presence is always a plus. (Well, in all honesty I was baffled at a scene in which a catch fighter BURPS at his face... certainly an unusual setting for Max! but these scenes are relevant to the film and their "bad taste" quality is intentional). All in all, while certainly not a masterpiece of the seventh art, the film has enough interesting threads to recommend it. The subject is tackled in a fitting way, alternating between a world of make-believe and a very adult and even spiritual take on life, illness and death. The depiction of childhood's concerns is the best part of it. All very philosophical (Schmitt is a former philosopher), yet made accessible to everyone. There are worse ways to spend an evening.
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