Tag Archives: French

THE UNKNOWN: even geniuses have an off-day

The Belgian writer-director brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardennes are among my very favorite filmmakers.  Their movies about everyday people in gritty industrial Belgium have been startlingly authentic and emotionally  gripping.  However, their latest, The Unknown Girl, is a bit of … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: ELLE – subversive and absorbing, with Huppert’s stunning performance

The extraordinary performance of French actress Isabelle Huppert makes the already subversive Elle into a Must See. Huppert plays the middle-aged businesswoman Michèle, who is raped in her home in the first seconds of this movie. Elle is likely to … Continue reading

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THE MIDWIFE: life disrupted

A woman’s life is utterly disrupted – for better and for worse – by the unexpected appearance of someone from her past.  Claire (Catherine Frot) is a middle-aged Paris midwife who lives a completely contained life, focused only on her … Continue reading

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MOKA: whodunit mixed with psychological thriller

In the atmospheric ticking clock drama Moka, Emanneulle Devos plays Diane, a Swiss woman whose daughter has been killed in a hit-and-run accident.  Months afterward, she is still consumed with grief.  Impatient with the slow and uncertain pace of the … Continue reading

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DVD/Stream of the Week: AUGUSTINE: obsession, passion and the birth of a science

The absorbing French drama Augustine is based on the real work of 19th century medical research pioneer Jean-Martin Charcot, known as the father of neurology. A young kitchen maid begins suffering wild seizures and is brought to Charcot’s research hospital. … Continue reading

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SFFILM: THE STOPOVER

The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILMFestival) presents the topical French drama The Stopover, which explores the after-effects of combat in contemporary warfare.  We also get a female lens on the acceptance of women in combat roles and on sexual … Continue reading

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PERSONAL SHOPPER: Kristin Stewart can’t save this mess

Kristen Stewart’s brilliant performance isn’t enough to save Olivier Assaya’s murky French drama Personal Shopper.  Stewart plays a woman who is working as a personal shopper for an obnoxious celebrity, but she really identifies as a medium. She is grieving … Continue reading

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Cinequest: SWEET GIRLS

In the dark, dark Swiss comedy Sweet Girls, the two teenage besties are lazy and unmotivated – even by teenage standards.  They will do ANYTHING to avoid an entry-level job that might plunge them into the adult workaday drudgery that … Continue reading

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ELLE: subversive and absorbing, with Huppert’s stunning performance

The extraordinary performance of French actress Isabelle Huppert makes the already subversive Elle into a Must See.  Huppert plays the middle-aged businesswoman Michèle,  who is raped in her home in the first seconds of this movie.  Elle is likely to … Continue reading

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MY GOLDEN DAYS: the urgency of first love

The first love depicted in Arnaud Desplechin’s coming of age film My Golden Days is completely evocative. That first love is inevitable even if the young lovers don’t know it yet, and then filled with passion, importance, obsession, angst, conflict, … Continue reading

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