France, present day. A professional conman passes himself off as the boss of a construction site building a highway extension. He cons the whole region, hires dozens of workers and ... See full summary »
In a small town, crushed by the heat of summer, in 1919, a war hero was held prisoner in a deserted barracks. In front of the door, his whipped dog barks day and night. Not far away, in the... See full summary »
The unemployed Duval is contacted by a mysterious organization to transcribe intercepted calls. He accepts the job with no suspicions, since it restores stability to his life, but it will soon result in political shenanigans of all kinds.
When Jeff unexpectedly shows up on Ben's doorstep at 2am, the two buddies immediately fall into each other's arms. Since their college days, they've taken very different paths. Jeff is ... See full summary »
The Art of Love (L'art d'aimer) is composed of several chapters following several Parisian couples. Isabelle (Julie Depardieu) has not had sex in a year. She declines an offer from her ... See full summary »
All the people in this countryside area, can count on Jean-Pierre, the doctor who auscultates them, heals and reassures them day and night, 7 days a week. Now Jean-Pierre is sick, so he sees Natalie, a young doctor, coming from the hospital to assist him. But will she adapt to this new life and be able to replace the man that believed to be irreplaceable?
This is old school French cinema,which displays an humanism recalling Christian-Jaque or even the sometimes unfairly demeaned Jean-Paul Le Chanois.And Except for the rather unlikely abrupt happy end ,it works from start to finish: it is definitely the kind of the movie we are in need of today : it's not overtly optimistic -like the feel-good movies which mar the contemporary French scene : however Marianne Denicourt's warm smile can lighten the darkest night;François Cluzet's commitment to his work is extraordinary : the first sequences ,consisting of very short scenes ,show it all .But ,in an admirable sequence ,exhausted and disheartened ,Werner tells his colleague (us )how hard his prestigious occupation always involves sufferings,death: nature( some people call God) may be a wonderful thing ,but it(He ) makes mistakes or even monstrosities and our task is to correct them.
And correct ,mend ,both of them do: the old man dies in his home ,and he could not ask for more;the boy who passes for a half-wit may be an autistic with an exceptional memory -he is a scholar,as far as WW1 is concerned-: someday ,he may learn to read and to write .So it's not overtly pessimistic either.It's life and life only.There's a wonderful truce in their ceaseless fight ,when the people dance to Cohen's "Hallelujah",a moment when an infinite tenderness emanates from the fete .
It does not always avoid clichés:the first Cluzet/Denicourt confrontation follows the usual pattern: seasoned veteran/modern rookie,it's the same old song ,be they militaries, cops,teachers,or physicians : see the scene of the ganders ("put their beak into their a........");and Cluzet's family is cliché itself.And Nina Simone's superb "wild is the wind" does not fit the bill in that context as well as Cohen's song as a finale .
But after 15 minutes ,the movie hits its stride ,and the words often rings true;except for an old TV series ("Cecilia Medecin De Campagne", sixties),a whole movie was never devoted to the country docs' thankless work in France,and it's much to Thomas Lilti's credit to have broached the subject ,with a valid documentary side which is never dull,thanks to the two principals .Both will win you over.
It's life and life only;as the good old French cinema I like was.
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