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Roman de gare (2007)
A return to young Lelouch?
After the unfair successive failure of the aborted trilogy of "La Comédie Humaine", we thought that Claude Lelouch was broke for a long time whereas Roman de Gare is released less than 2 years after "le courage d'aimer", the second and final opus of the forecast trilogy. Shot in secret with a nom de plume, Roman de Gare recalls a little of the freshness of the Lelouch of the 60's, but also lacks of the grandeur we were used to: the image quality is pretty poor, the cast is not all stars, though Fanny Ardant, Truffaud's egerie is superb as usual, we feel Lelouch had really little money to shoot; not a great music as usual(late Gilbert Becaud was a respected French singer, but the choice of the songs does not highlight the scenes to my feelings), the story is centered on a murder story, but is actually a pretext to demonstrate once more the human and love relations that the director is famous to be a passionate of. Not the greatest Lelouch, but not boring either due mainly to an unusual funny script and a pretty good acting.
Jericho Mansions (2003)
Did James need the money to pay his taxes?
I agree more with the last comment that was not in favor of that movie. The plot is ridiculous and superficial (why Genevieve Bujold's character waited 30 years to try to get rid of the super??), James Caan's play is so "interiorized" that he seems to be bored all the time to the max (where is his superb acting like in Misery; OK, it was 15 years ago, but still. Genevieve Bujold -though in her early 60's- seems to be a wreck (is it done on purpose?). She was so fresh in her youth. The little girl seems to read her script on a cardboard, Jennifer Tilly -though very sexy and voluptuous- irritates my ears every time she opens her mouth...Let's don't talk about the other actors (probably wondering what the hell am I doing in this movie, well as long as I get my paycheck). The beginning was promising, kind of "a la Amelie Poulain" in design, colors and way of shooting, but helas the soufflé is going down little by little and lets' say after 45 mns, the story is still a succession of scenes with no that great interest that you start to wonder "hey, what's the point?...and the finale is not better.
When some people say that "JM" is a (nice) try to look like an European movie with an American sense, they are not very expert for sure. If you like the kind of movies with colorful characters in one place, you better watch the excellent Alex de La Iglesias's "La comunidad"(Spain-2000), starring Carmen Maura (former Almodovar's protégé): a masterpiece of humour noir (black comedy), brilliant and funny script, excellent acting and good and wacky action from the start to the end.
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
A point of view from Europe
All the emotions are in this movie, brought up by a magnificent cast, a strong and a subtle story, a brilliant editing, perfectly balanced between past/present, funny/sad scenes, and a beautiful photography highlighted by a superb and appropriate music.
Those who despised FGT with their unkind and unfair comments are probably the ones who make a success of action-special FX galore-poor script blockbusters that invade us worldwide. American movies can be also different (open your mind please!). You have the right not to like it, but be respectful to the talent of both the director and the actors/actresses, it is mostly excessive to use words such "trash" or "worst movie ever".
Though a little less strong than "The color purple" (one of my favorite in the genre) on the racism issue and less cliché than "Beaches" (another of my top 10 movies)on the friendship subject, FGT is a gem of a movie to make you that there are more important things than money, as long you have friends, love, and confidence in you.
**spoiler*** Why bother about the end? Make your own opinion with your imagination (I prefer to think Ninny WAS Idgie; look at her malicious smile just before Evelyne asks "Idgie? (Ninny's nodding)Idgie's alive?). And please give up with discussing on the friendship type between the 2 girls, can't you imagine just love without sex for a minute? (and I AM French!!)
Mixed Nuts (1994)
one more proof that remakes don't compete with originals
I was maybe hoping too much from an American remake of a French movie: I was wrong once more: "Mixed Nuts" is nothing else but a total waste of time and money, compared to the original "Le père Noël est une ordure" (litterally "Santa Claus is a ba..rd")an eternal hilarious classic, but maybe unadaptable after all. I don't say that because I am French (some US remakes of French movies -though not numerous- are excellent and well adapted, such as "True lies" with Schwarzy and Jamie Lee Curtis, "Sommersby" with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster,etc.), but because I definitely think it's no use to "americanize" what is typically French (or from another country), or one looses the main spirit. It's always better-than-nothing to dub the original dialog (I know American audience don't like to read subtitles, too bad as original actors are always "betrayed"); another perfect bad example of adaptation is the 1996's "The Bird Cage" with the-not-funny-at-all-even grotesque-Nathan Lane, vs the wonderful, sensitive and incredibly hilarious Michel Serrault in the original French/Italian "La cage aux Folles", (actually same story/dialog almost to the line in the US version, so why bother?)
Finally, I appreciate very much US movies (in original version s'il vous plait!)for what I mostly expect from them: action, special effects, extraordinary CGIs, glamor,etc. We French are different, accept that and enjoy our movies too (1% of the US market only)! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.!
La poison (1951)
To complete the previous comment (which I agree), I will add that Michel Simon's (clever) machiavelism is to visit the lawyer PRIOR the killing of his wife(pretending he already did it),in order to know how to commit the "perfect" murder without being sentenced as much as possible; smart!
Maybe Sacha Guitry's most cynical movie about marriage. The famous Director/writer was an active womanizer and we may think that he was deceived by the female gender at this time (close to his death)and wished some revenge through this film (his young last wife -Lana Marconi- was supposedly interested in his money only and eventually sold his late husband's house in Paris to speculating promoters, only a couple of years after his death (the house was destroyed immediately to build a new building of no interest, whereas Guitry's last deep wish was to open a comedian's museum to exhibit his rarest manuscripts, costumes, theater memorabilia, etc.). What a pity!
Smoking/No Smoking (1993)
French film, English style
Though I don't like Alain Resnais' films (boooooring!), this(these) one(s) is(are) quite (an) exception(s)...The reasons are: the ever witty actors (Popular Sabine Azema and Pierre Arditi), the talented writers (Jean-Pierre Bacri and wife Agnes Jaoui)-very good actors too in other films-, the realistic sets (all shot in studio but with done-on-purpose "studio-like", strange and beautiful), the atmosphere and dialogs (sooo British and likable to my opinion). Though the plot is not that much important (stories and destinies of different characters in a small English village), the interesting points are: 2 separate movies with the same beginning until Sabine Azema (Mrs Tinsdale)decides to smoke a cig' (1st movie) or not (2nd movie), actually just a bait that will change the destinies of the characters though. In both movies you have a wonderful tour de force from start to end, as the 2 actors (only 2 all the time!) play ALL the characters in different disguises (more than 10)going in and out of the screen alternatively without any flaw. I never got bored, the acting is always good and keeping.
I wonder how English-speaking audiences appreciated this unusual French actor's challenge "a la britannic" (hope the 2 movies were just subtitled and not dubbed or you miss everything) and am curious to read further comments from them here in the future.