Antoine is too depressed to go on playing in his rock band. After wandering in the streets, he decides to seek an occupation. Unskilled as he is, he is lucky to be hired as the caretaker of...
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Antoine is too depressed to go on playing in his rock band. After wandering in the streets, he decides to seek an occupation. Unskilled as he is, he is lucky to be hired as the caretaker of an old Paris apartment building. He soon proves good at his job, even if he performs it a little eccentrically, and everybody grows fond of him. Antoine also develops a particular friendship with Mathilde, a recently retired woman who lives in the block and whose mental balance is deteriorating...Written by
Catherine Deneuve scored yet another Best Actress Cezar nomination for this role
"In the Courtyard" (2014 release from France; 0riginal title "Dans La Cour"; 97 min.) brings the story of Antoine. As the movie opens, we see Antoine, who is a singer in a rock band, refusing to go on stage due to lack of sleep or some such. By happenstance, Antoine literally stumbles onto a better gig: being the concierge of an old apartment building in the heard of Paris. Mathilde, played by Catherine Deneuve, and her husband are one of the tenants. To tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: first and foremost, I picked up this movie without knowing anything about it other than it stars Catherine Deneuve, and that's a good enough basis for me. I was right, Deneuve plays Mathilde, a seemingly super-active woman who as the movie unfolds suffers from more than just that. It is another brilliant performance from Deneuve, who scored her 12th (!) Cezar-nomination (France's equivalent of the Oscars) for Best Actress for this role (she did not win). We get to many of the building's other characters, each with their own quirks and problems. The movie almost has the feeling of being a filmed stage play, as pretty much all of the movie unfolds with the building and on its courtyard. Beware: this movie is labeled as a comedy-drama, but let's be clear: there isn't much comedy, let alone laugh-out-loud moments. Rather, this movie is a study of characters, and leaves a bittersweet aftertaste, slightly more bitter than sweet.
I recently picked up this movie at the foreign movie section of my local library. "In the Courtyard" certainly isn't bad, but lacks some tension and a better mix of scenery. That said, if you are a fan of foreign movies, I'd encourage you to check this out. Chances are that you will be watching in amazement, as I was, of Catherine Deneuve's performance.
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