Category Archives: French Movie Reviews

Conte de Printemps (A Tale of Springtime)

Conversation in Eric Rohmer’s Conte de Printemps is as free as bugs buzzing in tall meadow grasses: a waking-up to truth, and the falling away of wintertime misunderstandings. First in the series Contes des Quatre Saisons (Tales of Four Seasons), … Continue reading

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Paris

‘Where is the Universe?’ asks Élise’s (Juliette Binoche) daughter in the title sequence. Élise is with her children, standing high, looking over Paris. ‘The Universe Is everywhere,’ she declares in a calm, unassuming voice. And then director Cédric Klapisch cuts … Continue reading

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Nathalie

Mutual desire rattles the loneliness in the lives of two women, one a prostitute the other a gynecologist. One is a shell of controlling sexuality and the other statuesque and supremely elegant. Both are under each other’s spell and falling … Continue reading

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Amitiés Sincères (True Friends)

Friendship between three middle-aged men sits as solid and fragile as their egos, glowing with all the sunshine and shade of a weekend break. Walter (Gérard Lanvin) owns a successful restaurant, Jacques (Wladimir Yordanoff) a bookshop and Paul (Jean-Hugues Anglade) … Continue reading

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Mammuth

Gérard Depardieu wears his corpulence as a heavy soul, a man greased and bled by years of work in the local abattoir. Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern’s blue-black comedy (the humour is more an aching bruise) opens with the … Continue reading

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Vincent, François, Paul et les Autres (the Others)

Mid-life unease is worn as light as a 1970s sports jacket in Claude Sautet’s expose of friendship and floundering between three men. Energetic entrepreneur, Vincent (Yves Montand), the uptight doctor, François (Michel Piccoli) and disillusioned writer, Paul (Serge Reggiani) all … Continue reading

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Conte d’Hiver (A Winter’s Tale)

Eric Rohmer reinvents fairytale with grey cold, charming chattering and the hopes of an ordinary woman. Neither Grimm nor Disney, greedy witch or shallow promise, Rohmer’s magic rests in the day-to-day and a heart’s steadfast belief that something, contrary to … Continue reading

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César et Rosalie

Male adoration and infatuation takes two forms in Claude Sautet’s love-triangle serenade, starring Romy Schneider as the woman unable to choose between a passionate entrepreneur and an aloof artist. Both are obsessed with her, but show their interest in different … Continue reading

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Le Boucher (The Butcher)

A disturbed butcher falling for a small-town schoolteacher forms the blood and bones of Claude Chabrol’s classic 1970 thriller. Set in the heart of the Dordogne close to one of the region’s prehistoric caves, Popaul (Jean Yanne) is a needy … Continue reading

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Paris Nous Appartient (Paris Belongs to Us)

Wide spaces and open ideas connect with paranoia and penned-in desire in Jacques Rivette’s first feature, the title of which is inspired by Charles Péguy’s reflection that Paris belongs to those who spend the summer there preparing for the winter … Continue reading

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