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Antoine de Caunes,
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Featuring an award winning central performance by Chen Shiang-Chyi, the film focuses on a Taiwanese woman struggling with middle age and early-onset menopause, balancing her repressed desire against conforming to social expectations.
Ming Hwa Bai
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Johanna ter Steege,
1760s France. Suzanne is shocked when her bourgeois family sends her to a convent. There she faces oppression and torment, leading her to fight back and expose the dehumanizing effect of cloistered life.
.....Clarinet! Well, go on....at least consider it. Believe me....it ain't that "Hard" to do (***see below)
ALTERNATE TITLE FOR THIS REVIEW: You have NEVER met a Boy?...Girl?...Boy?....like this one! WHY, you may ask? Well, because He's?...She's?...He's?...(oh, I give up trying to decide)...just the GREATEST EVER! And to top that off, I've now found my new Boyfriend?...Girlfriend?...Boyfriend?...(#*$*&*...cuss...cuss).
A CAST OF CHARACTERS (by order of importance, naturally):
The CLARINET - (plays Himself) ---- And not just any Clarinet....BUT
one of the sweetest sounding...playful...sexually arousing woodwinds you are ever likely to meet (er, I mean hear).
Simon Eskenazy (Our Guy) - (played by: Antoine de Caunes) ---- The
adorable(yes, he really is) Male Lead....and Clarinetist Extraordinaire! This is a guy who says so much....by saying so little. A guy who seems to have experienced it ALL---sexual partner-wise. Believe me, you're going to wind up Envying this fellow....to the MAX.
Naim (or is it Habiba?...or perhaps Angela?) - (also the reason for
the Envy) - (played by: Mehdi Dehbi) ---- A PHENOMENAL actor...who is the subject of all the Question Marks in my Alternate Review Title, up above. Despite confusion over these 3 character names, there's really no doubt that this one is a "HE"....but just to be on the safe side, in future I'll only refer to him as "This Person". Anyway, you're going to fall in love with This Person. I know I did....and I said so above, did I not?
Mama "Bella" - (played by: Judith Magre) ---- The witty and smart
Mother of our Male Lead---a sharp-tongued, but loving, woman who is never afraid to call her son out as a "Schmuck!" (but only when he needs it)
as you've never, ever seen a gay man's Ex before. Possessed of a great singing voice, she is also phenomenal (with a little "p"). Watch her ultimate acceptance at film's end (check out her dancing partner). Although engaged, with a marriage ceremony only days away, do any of you out there also think she's, maybe, still in love with our Simon?
A COUPLE OF OBSERVATIONS:
This is one of the most colorfully-peopled films you are likely to
see---almost breathtakingly so (what great costuming....and cinematography).
Amazing...and sad...that I found this film only available as a Region
2 version (requiring an All-Regions player). Peraps you'll be more lucky.
AND GENERAL THOUGHTS: Perhaps the Best Way to tell you a little more about this great film is just to list some of the wonderful, funny, sad (not many), emotion-grabbing events and moments which have made it so special for me (take a look at the film for yourself, and see where we may differ and agree on these):
And a Clarinetist always plays his best....with a guy in his bed
And NEVER get stuck in an elevator with your Mother
And sometimes having facial hair can result in....your getting to
sleep in longer (try it and see)
And remember the specific amount: 4000 Euros (that's almost $5800
US)....BUT This Person is worth it
And beware of rude, white-bearded men, all in Black (they can really
put a damper on things)
And you gotta love that the one who winds up snoring in a
scene....turns out to be the one it is
And when you turn around....you never know who'll be there---perhaps
someone in Black (smirk)
And...ye gods...Obama makes yet another appearance (see 1st "Aside",
And, lastly, if you think you've walked into "Fiddler on the Roof" by
All you Obama fans (and others, of course) are invited and encouraged
to try another great little film. This time it's a Mediterranean Number---Italy's marvelous Love Triangle, entitled "Different From Whom" (check my review.....and don't forget your All-Regions DVD player, you'll need it).
A little Secret for some of you who've enjoyed this film: There was a
1998 "prequel" to this production (same Director and main Actors)---Titled, "Man Is A Woman"---Enjoy!
***No, no....you shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. What I meant, up top at the beginning, was: Listen to one "Playing"....WHILE you're making love. (Nasty minds, tsk...tsk)
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