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What's in a Name? (2012)
"Le prénom" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 8,087 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 15 user | 63 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Vincent
Valérie Benguigui ...
Élisabeth
...
Pierre
Guillaume de Tonquedec ...
Claude
...
Anna
Françoise Fabian ...
Françoise
Yaniss Lespert ...
Livreur pizza
Miren Pradier ...
Infirmière bracelet
Alexis Leprisé ...
Apollin (as Alexis Leprise)
Juliette Levant ...
Myrtille
Bernard Murat ...
L'obstétricien
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Storyline

Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

13 December 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's in a Name?  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In February 2013, Valérie Benguigui won a Cesar for Best Supporting Actress for this film. Cesars are the French Film Industry Academy Awards, equivalent to the Oscars in Hollywood. Valérie was to die on September 2, 2013 of a breast cancer. This film was her last film but one. She had already been a Best Supporting Actress nominee for a Molière Award in 2011 for the stage play. The Molière Awards are the equivalents of the Cesar Awards for live theatre. See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Claude turns down the volume of the stereo, but he is turning on the wrong wheel - it's not the amplifier but the cassette recorder. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits only the first names of the actors, producers, directors... are written. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #10.23 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Ouverture (Thème du prénom)
By Jérôme Rebotier
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User Reviews

 
screen and stage
8 June 2013 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

'Le prenom' translated in English in the Shakespearean 'What's in a Name' is even more than an adaptation, it is almost filmed theater. Excepting the introduction which is funny but has little to do with the film and the final few minutes which could have been much better all the play ... sorry ... the film takes place in a Parisian apartment where five characters mid-class, mid-age meet for dinner and live the crisis of their lives triggered by a practical joke one of them makes related to the name of his baby-to-come. As in Polanski's 'Carnage' which brought to screen a play by Yasmina Reza, the border between theater and film is never really crossed. Actually this film/play is so close to Reza's style that I would have been fooled easily if they told me it's written by her.

Alexandre de la Patelliere and Mathieu Delaporte brought to screen Delaporte's play and it looks like they do not have any other ambition than bringing to broader audiences the same story of good friends discovering unknown truths and hidden aspects of each other's personalities. Every ten minutes or so we do have a new revelation, each one about another of the characters involved which will put at try family relations and friendships forged decades back, in childhood. There are no social comments of actuality and no political sub-tones if we exclude some references to the left vs. conservative stereotypes, and probably the most significant (and funniest) reference is made to political correctness, related to the selection of the name of the baby boy, but it is consumed unfortunately in the first third of the movie. However, this may play eventually in the favor of the text, keeping it timeless and helping it stay actual even if read and played many years or decades from now.

At the end of the day viewing 'Le prenom' is an enjoyable experience and this is due to the well written dialog (it's a filmed play, but a good one) and to the excellent acting. I especially liked the pair of brother and sister (Patrick Bruel and Valerie Benguigi) who succeed both to bring real-life nuances to their characters, supplementary to the complexity and wit which is derived from the text. Do not avoid 'Le prenom' if it comes soon on a screen or a stage close to your place.


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