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3820 reviews in total 
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The inventor, 29 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Paul Thalman has been seduced by Mathilde on a sort of blind date when she kisses him. He is smitten by the gorgeous woman, a kind of a miracle, because he has not amounted to anything in life. Paul is a dreamer, which does not help his situation at home. Mathilde, feeling restless, has an adventure with the son of a famous actor.

One day, Paul stumbles into an idea about a product he wants to patent. Not having the money for the registration, he turns into his father-in-law, who sees the possible profit from the production and marketing of the holder for grocery bags, which unknown to him, has already been in the market.

A whimsical comedy by Michel Leclerc that was shown recently on cable. Our only interest in watching was the presence of Elsa Ziberstein in the comedy, as we had always seen her in dramatic roles. She surprises in this film with her easy take on the heroine. Kad Merad is a comedian who tries hard, sometimes he succeeds and at other times, he comes across as too heavy. Claude Brasseur has a small role playing Mathilde's father.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Haley goes to college, 28 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For some parents, a child's departure for college can be not only dramatic, but pivotal in the life of the family. That is the case as Phil and Claire prepare for the momentous occasion of their oldest daughter's leaving the life, as she knew it, for the unknown.

Jay and Gloria, who are expecting a baby, are perplexed when Manny talks them into a class for new parents. They feel as though they do not need, as both have experience in that department. They prove to be an irritating factor for the class they enroll,

At Mitch and Cam's place, they are all excited as they get Lily for the start of kindergarten. They are not prepared to witness a little boy hitting their girl. As it happens, the boy is the son of lesbians. A feud ensues, so they are ask to make peace and bring their kids to like one another.

Directed by Jeff Melman with a screenplay by Steve Levtan, the creator of the series, and Dan O'Shannon, a frequent collaborator of the program. The whole cast gets to do their best as an ensemble. The best aspect of the episode is the interaction of the Dunphys, as they separate themselves from Haley.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Extended families, 28 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a lethal form of flu is discovered in France, and told in confidence to Paul, the head of an important editorial; he decides to gather his family, retreating to the country estate to let the epidemic run its course. With his wife, Helene, and his two grown children, Alex and Laetitia, they prepare for the worst. An added surprise occurs when Paul announces he will get Sonia, the lover of his best friend, Marc, and her son to get out of the affected area, as he is going to let them stay with the family.

It is not surprising Sonia is none other than Paul's lover. Little Arthur, the child she brings, is Paul's son. It does not take too long for the family members to realize what the real situation is like. Helene, without verbalizing what is going in her head, although wounded, decides to continue with the charade. Alex, while not agreeing with the situation is not adverse to welcome the visitor. In fact, it does not take long before Sonia sees him in a different light.

This television made movie was shown recently on a cable network. Directed jointly by Yves Angelo and Marc Dugain. The screenplay, by Mr. Dugain, asks the viewer to believe this situation and make it plausible, much less make sense about the situation created. After all, the family at the center of the story show sophistication in how to deal with the thorny issue of the arrival of Paul's lover under a flimsy pretext.

The cast does a good job in going through a story that is obviously for a mature crow, although the story is thin and not believable. The great Andre Dussolier plays Paul with conviction. Caroline Sihol is wonderful as Helene. Gregory Gadebois, of the Comedy Francaise, Annelise Hesme, Amandine Dewasme, complete the supporting cast.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The ghosts in the house, 28 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Odile, a thirty-something woman, is having a tryst with Fabrice, her married lover. She must go to take care of the estate of her old aunt who passed away, the house in the Cornouaille region of Brittany, which seems to be haunted by the past. Odile's youth was spent there during her summers. Her main purpose in returning is to get the property ready in order to sell it. There are strange things inside the house, as well as outside.

The appearance of Loic, a neighbor, as well as a childhood friend, proves to be something unexpected for Odile. She is rattled when he tells her, point blank, she is pregnant. The news could not come at a worst time; with her shaky situation, Odile realizes it is impossible to have the baby. Loic offers to be at her side, but like her dead parents that keep popping up in her mind, he might not be real.

An interesting film by Anne Le Ny, who co-wrote the screenplay with Luc Beraud. The film has an aura of mystery, which only seems to be in Odile's head. Everywhere there are reminders of the past. Odile begins to realize the allure of coming back to the place that holds such vivid memories of her life. The beauty and serenity of a magical locale get the best of her, as she sees clearly where her place is.

A wonderful performance by Vanessa Paradis keeps the viewer interested in her Odile. Guided by Ms Le Ny, the actress has one of her best roles in a while. Ms Paradis is an intelligent presence in anything she does. Samuel Lebihan appears as Loic and Jonathan Zaccai plays Fabrice. Aurore Clement and Damien Dorsaz appear as Odile's dead parents.

Con game, 28 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Philippe, a man who makes a living out of outsmarting gullible people, finds himself in a small town which has been hit hard by the bad times in the country. Assuming a new persona, he realizes the profits to be gotten as he brings hope to the desperate citizens of the poor area. Philippe, who is a low life, knows what right buttons to push in order to get the influential business in town to go along with a scheme that will complete a badly needed highway, which had been abandoned by the original builders.

The con man, wisely, underplays his role as he starts the machinery going. It is amazing the way this man worked to win the confidence of the people in higher places, including the lady mayor, a young widow, who welcomes the new atmosphere Philippe has falsely erected. Unfortunately, his heart plays tricks on him: he has fallen for Stephane, the mayor. The appearance on the scene of Abel, his partner in crime, gets the con man a reason to think twice about the monstrosity of his game.

Based on a true story, it was adapted for the screen by its director, Xavier Giannoli, in collaboration with Daniel Karlin. The results are quite startling, as a good idea of the scope of what Philippe created for his own profit, affects a whole community. Mr. Giannoli is helped with the wonderful cast he brought together to his project. Excellent performance by Francois Cluzet dominates the film. His intelligent approach to the material work well in reenacting this story. Emmanuelle Devos appears as Stephane, the mayor, and Gerard Depardieu, who has collaborated with Mr. Giannoli before, shows up in a small, but pivotal role of Abel.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Mating dance, 27 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another theater play, no doubt adapted to showcase the great Pierre Arditi, whose previous feature, "La verite" was shown some time ago. The film does not hide its provenance, it is clear it is a theatrical production expanded into a television film by Nathan Miller with a collaboration with the playwright Gerald Sibleyras and Gabriel Julien- Laferriere, adapting the original material.

The story centers around Thierry, an authority on animals, a middle aged man who is involved with Judith, a much younger woman. The age difference is obvious, but it does not seem to faze her. The contrast becomes clear as Judith organizes a birthday party for the new man in her life. Her friends are clearly impressed in meeting Thierry, who feels out of his element with her friends, a much hipper and younger group.

Things are going smoothly as Judith meets Thierry's sister, Francoise. Thierry's brother-in-law makes a confession while in the gym: he is also seeing a younger woman. Thierry suggests not to confess his betrayal, but the man is convinced Francoise will take the news calmly, but he is not prepared for the fury he will unleash at home.

As a comedy, Nathan Miller, the director, gives it a good pacing. It is after all, one of those plays on the French stage that has twists and turns, with an ending that is not too far fetched, as Thierry and Judith will find a middle ground for their love. Pierre Arditi is a superb comedian with excellent timing. He is a pleasure to watch. Lovely Stephanie Crayencour does a wonderful take on Judith, the younger woman in love with a man of a certain age.

Sauve-moi (2000)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Immigrants, 26 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Christian Vincent's film "Sauve-moi" was shown recently on an international cable channel. Not having a clue as what it was all about, we decided to check it out. The film deals with the immigrant experience, mainly from the point of view from Algerians who have settled in the town of Rubaix, near the Belgian border.

Meddhi, an unemployed man, ekes a life locally trying to hustle his skills behind the wheel and offer it to arriving rail passengers as a taxi driver, albeit illegally, something that most people refuse. When he observes a young woman asking directions, he decides to give her a ride. It is obvious she has no way to pay her fare. She has come to meet a doctor, whom she met some time ago. The man, a doctor, clearly has no intention of reliving his past experience.

Meddhi takes pity on Agatha, introducing her to a group of friends of mostly Algerian background. Meddhi, who has problems in finding a job, gets hired as an assistant of a man with a collection agency. Meddhi will have to visit the debtors to get payments for the man. It is obvious he is not cut for the task, beating his employer as he witnesses the man humiliating the people he is asking to pay their bills.

The film deals with that world of immigrants trying to make a living; what they must face in an unfriendly environment. Our main interest in watching the film was the presence of Roschdy Zem, one of the best actors working in French cinema today. He does not disappoint. Rona Hatner, the happy-go-lucky Agatha in the film, is a welcome addition to any film.

Midlife crisis, 25 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Simon, a French writer, finds himself permanently blocked. He and his wife are heading into a tough time in their married life. Simon has discovered his wife, Anna, is having an affair with a colleague at the hospital where she works. With a pretext of an ear problem, Simon asks for an appointment with Dr. Munthe, only to realize he just does not care to confront him.

Simon Polaris shows deeper signs of being in a mild depression. His visits to his therapist pique his curiosity because the analyst keeps his left hand in his pocket all the time. The secret is revealed: his precious Hamilton watch belonged to the late American president John F. Kennedy. In getting to know the story, Simon decides he must have the watch.

Life at home is further complicated when his daughter, Alice, announces she is getting engaged to be married to a dentist. Simon, who has suffered a botched gum operation, does not care for his future son-in- law. Anne and Simon try to work out their relationship, but nothing comes out of it. At the end, Simon is just as lonely and unhappy as at the beginning of the story.

Directed by Sam Karmann, who also appears in a minor role, the film is one of those attempts to explain the reason behind Simon's own funk, which is never clearly explained. On the other hand, the film shows the excellent Jean-Pierre Bacri totally dominating the action. Nicole Garcia's Anne is an enigma. She is a chain smoker whose life has turned in a different direction from her husband.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Cache, 25 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A man, just out of jail, returns to his home town. Little prepares for what he finds: everything has changed. Thierry Berger was involved in a bank heist that netted one hundred and sixty million franks, which were never recovered. During the bandits escape, his partner, who turns out to be a young woman, dies. Thierry paid his debt to society with a prison term of fifteen years.

A policeman, Mayene, hot in pursuit of Thierry arrives in town. He is convinced he will catch Thierry, and ultimately, the money. Thierry finds an ally in the librarian, Francine. With her help, he tries to get to the hiding place. Mayene is assisted by a sadistic cop, who can terrorize small and innocent girls.

A sadly dated film by Pierre Granier-Deferre. The main idea has been told, time and again. The slow execution does not help with the action. The implausible story of a provincial bank robbed of the huge amount of money does not help in making the story credible. The bland presence of Alain Souchon does not work. Jean-Louis Trintignant, one of the best French actors of all times, does not have anything to do in the film. Lambert Wilson, as the sadistic cop fares better.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
It's Halloween again, 23 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Again, Elaine Ko proves she is one of the best assets of this award winning show. Her treatment of the episode strikes the right note, as it involves all family members in one of the most festive occasions of the year. Halloween is the perfect excuse for the three family groups to have fun in their own ways.

Cam and Mitch must deal with an inquiring Lily, who demands to know about her own mother, something the partners are not ready to deal with. Claire, on the other hand, has her own problems because no one wants to come treat or tricking to her house. Yet she has a somewhat scary surprise for her husband Phil. Gloria decides to let it all hang out and show herself with Jay at the Party at Cam and Mitch's house.

James Bagdonas keeps things moving at a good pace, making this installment a delightful time in front of the television.

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