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Movie Review – A Woman’s Life (2016)

A Woman’s Life, 2016.

Directed by Stéphane Brizé.

Starring Judith Chelma, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau, Swann Arlaud, and Nina Meurisse.

Synopsis:

A young woman sets out on the path to adulthood and gradually experiences the harsh realities of a woman’s life in the mid 19th-century.

Life is never as good or as bad as one thinks, wrote Guy de Maupassant in his novel Une Vie, the source material for this sombre and touching film from Stéphane Brizé (The Measure of a Man, Mademoiselle Chambon).

Essentially this is a story of expectations. Jeanne (Judith Chema), the daughter of nobility in mid 19th-century France has led a sheltered existence for most of her early life. Days spent tending the garden and learning about the natural growth of things with her father the Baron Simon (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) fill the innocent convent school educated Jeanne with happy delight.

This life rapidly changes following
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A Woman’s Life | Review

When a Potiche Ascends the Stairs: Brizé’s Winning, Textured de Maupassant Adaptation

Although cinematic adaptations of French writer Guy de Maupassant still occur with some regularity, few contemporary Gallic auteurs have successfully tackled the naturalist who was a protégé of Flaubert and a contemporary of Zola. Frequent adaptations of his famed short story “Boule de Suif” and Bel-Ami are resurrected regularly, and his stories have inspired auteurs like Robert Wise, Jean-Luc Godard, Marcel Ophüls, and Jean Renoir. However, de Maupassant’s seminal first novel, Une Vie (1883), has been adapted several times outside of France, while previously its most definitive mounting was the 1958 End of Desire headlined by Maria Schell.

For his seventh feature, Stephane Brizé persuasively reflects the subjugation of women’s agency with the fragmented A Woman’s Life, and is perhaps the most auspicious transformation of the author since the handsome productions of the 1950s with this astute period piece featuring an exquisite ensemble of character actors.

After returning from convent school, Jeanne (Judith Chemla) takes joy in assisting her father (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) in the garden and perambulating with her mother (Yolande Moreau), a woman who spends most of her free time scrolling through the contents of letters she received throughout her life. With only the young family maid Rosalie (Nina Meurisse) as a friend and confidante, Jeanne soon finds herself courted by the handsome Viscount Julien de Lamare (Swann Arlaud). Swept into what she’s made to believe is romance, the marriage soon sours when Rosalie is found to be with child after having been raped by Julien. Thus begins Jeanne’s initiation into a world more harrowing than she had anticipated as her ideals and dignity are slowly stripped away.

Judith Chemla, who has starred as a supporting player in a number of period productions for noted auteurs (Tavernier, Techine) comes to the fore as the passive, frustrated center of Brizé’s film. Oblivious to the tendencies and behaviors of those around her, A Woman’s Life gently ushers her from a frivolous young woman of privilege to an increasingly fraught wife forced to contend with a debauched husband.

Brizé’s film has all the potential of a tawdry soap opera, and yet is distilled into fragmented reflections of her escapist tendencies. As we rush through defining moments of her life, time slows as Jeanne disappears into the bright, sunshiny memories which brought her to such a brooding standstill. Chemla is tasked with revealing Jeanne’s persona through inscrutable moments, an object acted upon despite meager efforts to gain control of her life. When escape presents itself upon learning of her own pregnancy at the same time as her husband’s philandering with Rosalie, her own mother confirms her fate by forcing Jeanne to forgive rather than return home.

Yolande Moreau gives a subversively droll performance as a cold maternal figure who has several major secrets of her own. As her counterpart, Jean-Pierre Darroussin nearly disappears within the period garb as Jeanne’s mild mannered father, while a mousy Swann Arlaud is sufficiently unpalatable as her cheating husband. Clotilde Hesme surfaces in a brief subplot which yields shockingly violent results, while rising young actor Finnegan Oldfield (Nocturama; Les Cowboys) shows up in the third act as Jeanne’s selfish teenage son, the specter haunting her golden years and sending her into protracted anguish.

Much like Brizé’s last lauded feature, 2015’s The Measure of a Man, the narrative revolves around distilled, refracted moments informing its protagonist’s mind frame, a person once again trapped by economic necessity in an unfavorable role which whittles away at their resolve.

Collaborating once more with scribe Florence Vignon (who scripted his superb 2009 film Mademoiselle Chambon), they achieve a striking portrait of a woman of certain means as equally weighted down by her expectations and limited control. Brizé also taps Dp Antoine Heberle (who worked on Chambon and A Few Hours of Spring, as well as Ozon’s Under the Sand) who transforms the film into a constant visual juxtaposition of stark, contrasting palettes, ranging from the brooding grays of Jeanne’s present to the golden, sparkling vivaciousness of happy times she can never return to. With stunning finality, a drastic situation boils down to bittersweet reality— “Life is never as good or as bad as you think it is.”

★★★★/☆☆☆☆☆

The post A Woman’s Life | Review appeared first on Ioncinema.com.
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Cannes: Sandrine Kiberlain named Caméra d’or jury president

  • ScreenDaily
Cannes: Sandrine Kiberlain named Caméra d’or jury president
French actress starred in Cannes titles A Self-made Hero and Polisse.

French actress Sandrine Kiberlain has been named president of the Caméra d’or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28).

Kiberlain and jury will award a prize to a director’s first work from the Official Selection, the Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week .

Since 1978 the prize has gone to films including Stranger than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch (1984), Suzaku by Naomi Kawase (1997), The White Balloon by Jafar Panahi (1995), Hunger by Steve McQueen (2008) and Beasts of the Southern Wild by Benh Zeitlin (2012).

Last year, Houda Benyamina won the Caméra d’or for her film Divines screened in the Directors’ Fortnight.

In a career spanning 25 years and boasting around 40 films, actress Kiberlain first shot to prominence in The Patriots by Éric Rochant (winner of the Romy-Schneider Prize) and En Avoir (Ou Pas) by Laetitia Masson, for which she won the César for most promising actress.

Subsequent turns have
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes: Sandrine Kiberlain to Preside Over Camera d’Or Jury

Cannes: Sandrine Kiberlain to Preside Over Camera d’Or Jury
Paris – French actress Sandrine Kiberlain is set to preside over the Camera d’Or jury at the upcoming 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Kiberlain, along with a jury comprising industry professionals, will award the prize reserved for a directorial debut film playing in either the official selection of the festival, Directors’ Fortnight or Critics’ Week.

One of France’s most popular and critically acclaimed actresses, Kiberlain has starred in more than 40 films since breaking through in Eric Rochant’s thriller “The Patriots.” Her most notable films include Laetitia Masson’s “En avoir (ou pas),” Stephane Brize’s “Mademoiselle Chambon,” and Albert Dupontel’s black comedy “9 Month Stretch,” which earned Kiberlain a César for best actress in 2014.

Kiberlain has also worked with Benoît Jacquot (“Seventh Heaven”), Claude Miller (“Alias Betty”), Nicole Garcia (“A View of Love”), Alain Resnais (“Life of Riley”) and André Téchiné (“Being 17”).

The actress, who previously
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance ’17 and on to Rotterdam ‘17: Interview with Kirsten Tan, Writer and Director of ‘Pop Aye’

Sundance ’17 and on to Rotterdam ‘17: Interview with Kirsten Tan, Writer and Director of ‘Pop Aye’
This first feature of Kirsten Tan premiered in Sundance ‘17 World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Its provenance is Singapore but it takes place in Thailand. It continued onward to the Hivos Tiger Competition at Iffr (R’dam).

The thrill of interviewing here in Sundance is that you see a film; you have an impression and while it is still fresh you meet the filmmakers without having much time for any research or reflection. And then you get to see them again as “old friends” when you meet again in Rotterdam.

As Kirsten, her producer Weijie Lai and I sat down at the Sundance Co-op on Main Street here in Park City, I really had little idea of where the interview would take us, somewhat analogously to her film in which an architect, disenchanted with life in general, being put aside as “old” in his own highly successful architectural firm and in a stale relationship with his wife,
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Venice Film Review: ‘A Woman’s Life’

Venice Film Review: ‘A Woman’s Life’
If director Stéphane Brizé, last seen in Cannes with “The Measure of a Man,” seems an unlikely candidate to film a period-set Guy de Maupassant novel, then it’s our fault for limiting him to a particular time or genre. “A Woman’s Life” has the kind of majesty found not in the grand gesture but the modest detail, the kind that accumulates resonance with each seemingly minor event until the picture of a character becomes as complete as a painting by Ingres. Or a story by Maupassant. Astutely shot by Antoine Héberlé in Academy ratio, which continually calls attention to what’s half-obscured or outside the frame, this deeply moving tale of a minor noblewoman betrayed by her husband, her son, and in many ways, her idyllic youth, deserves widespread arthouse play, though its challenging nature may hinder sales.

It’s a pity the producers chose to go with
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘De Palma,’ ‘Sunset Song,’ ‘Melancholia,’ ‘The Jungle Book,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Blood Father (Jean-François Richet)

If this be the movie jail that Mel Gibson is destined to die in, it could be a whole lot worse. Blood Father, directed by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine, Assault on Precinct 13), works remarkably well as a grindhouse throwback, sporting a screenplay (from Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, based on Craig’s novel) that’s better than it has any right to be.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Vincent Lindon on Career Goals, the Intimacy of Filmmaking, and ‘The Measure of a Man’

The Best Actor winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival wasn’t a boisterous, awards-reel-ready turn from an international superstar, but a performance as modest and determined in emotional directness as the film it’s so amply supporting. It’s only fitting, then, that most talk about The Measure of a Man will center on Vincent Lindon, whose work makes for a perfect compliment to the Dardenne-esque drama crafted by writer-director (and frequent collaborator) Stéphane Brizé.

To mark the film’s U.S. release and celebrate Lindon’s other accomplishments, New York City’s Metrograph hosted a four-film retrospective — but, aside from introductions and Q & As, he wouldn’t have been seen too often. When speaking to the actor, he exhibited no ego when sharing a few blunt thoughts about viewing his own work while, in turn, complimenting the many people who help the films get onscreen. For more on that,
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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #22. Stéphane Brizé’s Une Vie

Une Vie

Director: Stéphane Brizé

Writers: Stéphane Brizé, Florence Vignon

Following his critically acclaimed The Measure of Man, which took home a Best Actor award for Vincent Lacoste at 2015, Stéphane Brizé has quickly moved onto his next project, an adaptation of Guy de Maupassant with Une Vie (One Life). Once again, Brizé re-teams with co-writer Vignon (Mademoiselle Chambon, A Few Hours of Spring) to adapt a tale centered on a hypersensitive woman unaccustomed the world’ cruelty. In essence, this sounds quite similar to Measure, but from a feminine perspective. Brizé often fleshes out characters and scenarios set within the confines of the working class, often to very eloquent effect. While Lacoste (who has starred in his last three features) is not returning this time, Brizé casts notables such as Yolande Moreau, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Jalil Lespert.

Cast: Yolande Moreau, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Jalil Lespert

Production Co./Producers:Ts Productions’ Milena Poylo and Gilles Sacuto,
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The real world of Vincent Lindon by Richard Mowe

Vincent Lindon: "“I will only work if the script is good. I receive propositions every week but I don’t do them.” Photo: Richard Mowe

Vincent Lindon, 55, who was named Cannes Best Actor for his role as a jobless security guard in Stephane Brizé’s Competition entry The Measure Of A Man / La Loi Du Marché has found his niche with a series of characters on the edge and a resolute commitment to causes.

He may not seem the most obvious candidate to portray characters in hard-hitting social dramas. Lindon’s father was a rich industrialist, and he has never had to struggle to keep body, soul and family together.

His work with Stephane Brizé has brought him his most consistent recognition and accolades, starting with Mademoiselle Chambon in which he played a small town artisan falling in love with his son’s primary teacher, continuing through the rigours
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Kino Lorber gets ‘The Measure Of A Man’

  • ScreenDaily
The distributor has acquired Us and Canadian rights to Stephane Brizé’s recent Cannes Competition selection starring the festival’s freshly minted best actor Vincent Lindon.

Brizé co-wrote the screenplay with Olivier Gorce to The Measure Of A Man, about a working-class supermarket security guard who faces a tough moral choice.

The film also stars Yves Ory, Karine de Mirbeck, Matthieu Schaller, Xavier Mathieu and Catherine Saint-Bonnet.

Kino Lorber plans an autumn theatrical release following a festival run. The film will roll out on home entertainment and digital platforms in 2016.

Kino Lorber, which enjoyed box office success with Brizé’s Mademoiselle Chambon in the Us, negotiated the deal for The Measure Of A Man with MK2.
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Cannes Buy: Kino Lorber Acquires Cannes Award-Winner 'Measure of a Man'

Cannes Buy: Kino Lorber Acquires Cannes Award-Winner 'Measure of a Man'
The distributor scooped up all U.S. and Canadian rights to Stephane Brize's sixth feature, "The Measure of a Man," which took home the Best Actor prize for star Vincent Lindon. The movie is a sensitive portrayal of a working-class man struggling to stay employed and care for his family, as well as keep his values in a tough world. The film was directed by Brizé ("Mademoiselle Chambon," starring Lindon) and co-written by Brizé and Olivier Gorce. Brizé supports his lead with a cast of non-pros playing dramatized versions of themselves. Art-house distributor Kino Lorber, which released "Mademoiselle Chambon" in the United States (grossing over $530,000 in theaters alone), is planning to release the film in theaters in the fall of 2015, after booking North American festivals. Home media and digital releases will follow in 2016. "With 'The Measure of a Man'’s hugely deserved Best Actor honor," said Richard...
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Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Stephane Brizé’s Cannes Winner The Measure Of A Man

Kino Lorber has acquired all Us and Canadian rights to Stephane Brizé’s (Mademoiselle Chambon) The Measure Of A Man, starring Vincent Lindon (Mademoiselle Chambon, Bastards, Friday Night, La Moustache), winner of the Best Actor award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The film was directed by Mr. Brizé and co-written by Brizé and Olivier Gorce. This is Stephane Brizé’s sixth feature film.

Featuring “an all-consuming lead performance from Lindon” (Jordan Mintzer, THR.com) as a working-class man struggling with unemployment and then, facing a difficult moral choice as a security guard in a supermarket, Brizé supports his lead with a brilliantly directed cast of non-professional performers playing dramatized versions of themselves.

The film has been dubbed by critics as “an impressive foray into social drama” (Jordan Mintzer) and “French social critique at its finest” (Benjamin Dodman, The Atlantic), and continues an already-trailblazing partnership between Mr. Brizé and Mr. Lindon,
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Kino Lorber Acquires Stephane Brizé's 'The Measure of a Man'

Read More: Kino Lorber Acquires 'Father of African Cinema' Doc 'Sembene!' Kino Lorber has acquired all U.S. rights to Stephane Brizé's new film "The Measure of a Man." The film, which follows an aging, unemployed man as he starts a new job, premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and marks Brizé's sixthfeature film and third collaboration with actor Vincent Lindon (following "Mademoiselle Chambon" and "A Few Hours of Spring"). Brizé ("Mademoiselle Chambon," "Bastards," "Friday Night," "La Moustache") directed and co-wrote the film with Olivier Gorce. Lindon, who stars as the unemployed Theirry, won the Best Actor award at Cannes for the film. Here's the official synopsis: "At the age of 51 and after 20 months on unemployment, Theirry starts a new job that soon brings him face to face with a moral dilemma. How much is he willing to accept to keep his job?" "The...
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Cannes Winner ‘Measure of a Man’ Bought by Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to Stephane Brizé’s “The Measure of a Man,” starring Vincent Lindon, winner of the best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Brizé directed from a script he co-wrote with Olivier Gorce about a working-class man struggling with unemployment and later facing a difficult moral choice as a security guard in a supermarket. Lindon also starred in Brizé’s “Mademoiselle Chambon” and “A Few Hours of Spring.”

Variety‘s Scott Foundas gave “The Measure of a Man” a strong review, calling it “a veritable master class in understated humanism.”

Kino Lorber, which released “Mademoiselle Chambon” in the U.S., plans to release “The Measure of a Man” in theaters in the fall. Home media and digital releases will follow in 2016.

The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber’s Richard Lorber and MK2 International’s Victoire Thevenin.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: 'Measure of a Man' sold to 20+ territories

Cannes: 'Measure of a Man' sold to 20+ territories
Star Vincent Lindon hotly tipped for Best Actor Palme d’Or for lead performance.

French sales company MK2 has announced a raft of deals on Stéphane Brizé’s Palme d’Or contender The Measure of a Man starring Vincent Lindon as a laid-off factory worker trying to find work.

The film has sold to more than 20 territories including Benelux (Remain in Light), Portugal (Alambique), Italy (Academy Two), Ex-Yugoslavia (Discovery), Switzerland (Xenix Film Distribution), Greece (Ama Films), Turkey (Fabula Films), Hungary (Cirko Films), Taiwan (Swallow Wings), Middle East (Moving turtles), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Denmark (Ost for Paradis) and Tunisia (Hakka Distribution).

MK2 is also in discussion for Us, Spain, China and Brazil.

Diaphana has just released the film in France.

Lindon, who previously worked with Brizé on the much-praised A Few Hours of Spring and Mademoiselle Chambon, has racked up rave reviews in Cannes for his performance as a man who takes a job as a supermarket security
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Cannes 2015: “La Loi du Marché” – the most stringently cinéma-vérité film competing for the Palme d’Or

La Loi du Marché (The Measure of a Man)

Directed by Stéphane Brizé

Written by Stéphane Brizé, Olivier Gorce

France 2015

The second of no less than five French competition entries, La Loi du Marché is so far the most stringently cinéma-vérité film competing for the Palme d’Or. It is a fine piece of social drama in the French tradition of cinéma engagé (socially conscious cinema) with prominent touches of Dogme 95-style naturalism. I had seen and loved two of Stéphane Brizé’s previous works, Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé (Not Here to Be Loved, 2005) and Mademoiselle Chambon (2009) but never realised they were directed by the author of La Loi du Marché so I went in slightly irritated with the French press already lionising director Brizé’s favourite lead Vincent Lindon’s performance as “on track for the best actor prize” as I already had my firm
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Daily | Cannes 2015 | Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure Of A Man

"In Stéphane Brizé's The Measure of a Man, Vincent Lindon "plays Thierry, an unemployed husband and father struggling to find a new career after being laid off from his longtime factory job," writes Mike D'Angelo, dispatching to the Dissolve. And he's not the only one to note that La loi du marché, literally, The Law of the Market, could well serve as a companion piece to Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's Two Days, One Night. "Brizé (Mademoiselle Chambon) spends the first half of the film detailing just how screwed Thierry is, with each scene constituting a protracted argument that goes in maddening circles. Then, abruptly, in a single nondescript cut, Thierry has a job, working as a security guard for a huge department store." We've got more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Cannes 2015 | Stéphane Brizé’s The Measure Of A Man

"In Stéphane Brizé's The Measure of a Man, Vincent Lindon "plays Thierry, an unemployed husband and father struggling to find a new career after being laid off from his longtime factory job," writes Mike D'Angelo, dispatching to the Dissolve. And he's not the only one to note that La loi du marché, literally, The Law of the Market, could well serve as a companion piece to Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's Two Days, One Night. "Brizé (Mademoiselle Chambon) spends the first half of the film detailing just how screwed Thierry is, with each scene constituting a protracted argument that goes in maddening circles. Then, abruptly, in a single nondescript cut, Thierry has a job, working as a security guard for a huge department store." We've got more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

2015 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 6: Brizé “Le loi du marche” Should Lead to Future Employment for Lindon

Six features in, French filmmaker Stéphane Brizé hasn’t had a long history with the Cannes Film Festival. In fact, the one time Camera d’Or juror saw his debut 1999 film, Le bleu des villes land in the Directors’ Fortnight and after gigs such as Not Here to Be Loved (2005), Entre adultes (2006), César Award winning Mademoiselle Chambon (2009) and A Few Hours of Spring (2011), Murphy’s Law certainly did not have its place with a film on market laws. Nabbing his first Main Comp slot presence with Le Loi du marche (known to international auds as The Measure of a Man) this is the filmmakers third straight collaboration with actor Vincent Lindon. With Variety calling this “a companion piece to the Dardenne brothers’ “Two Days, One Night,” early press screenings that took place this morning pleased the small number of critics from our panel who did shore up to this tough
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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