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#Oscars2018 Foreign-Language Film: Today, October 6, submission from Syria, Senegal, Mongolia, Honduras, Haiti, Costa Rica, China and Australia.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paris


This Cédric Klapisch movie in my opinion is different to his previous movies and even when there is a narrative, totally looks and feels more like a true homage to always-beautiful Paris. Obviously with the movie name and with Juliette Binoche starring, it was impossible for me to miss it and not to like it. But, it was not all that I imagine could be.

The movie story varies according to what you read, so that gives you an idea of how confusing the movie could be for some, but at the same time tells about a movie where you can find different story essences. In my opinion the movie basically is about two siblings, Élise (Juliette Binoche) and Pierre (Romain Duris) and the numerous characters that cross paths with them. The slice-of-life story develops like a six-degrees-of-separation chart with some characters having more relevance than others and consequently, having more time and character development. The truth is that the "six-degrees-of-separation chart" is not drawn in order, so mostly in the beginning some may wonder what this or that have to do with what you are seeing as the center of the story.

Then I believe that the movie is about living in a large city and about love, sex, death, happiness, sadness, the expected, the unexpected, etc. all those little things -and very relevant for each individual- that happen to people in their quotidian lives.

Juliette Binoche character is complex and she delivers great as always, but there is one particular scene that has to be a must be seen for some that read this blog, when she does a striptease! It’s a great comic moment, so please do not imagine anything else.

Among the secondary characters there is one that for me totally steals the movie, as you really wait for him to comeback to the screen. The character is Roland outstandingly played by Fabrice Luchini. Just for his performance the movie is more than worth seeing, as he is incredibly good as a bitter university professor that falls for his younger student Laetitia played by beautiful to watch Mélanie Laurent. Luchini comic moments really show that he’s a marvelous performer.

The large supporting roles have some of the best French contemporary actors and its impossible to name all, but I have to mention great François Cluzet that plays Philipe, Roland’s brother, perhaps the only really happy character that gets confused when his brother tells him that he’s normal which leads to an interesting animated sequence in the movie.

Then as a movie is really safe. Cinematography indoors is normal, but outdoors Klapisch really does the most beautiful homage to Paris giving us viewers the pleasure of watching many spectacular takes of most of the great city landmarks. Besides the truly good visuals of Paris, there is nothing else remarkable.

I enjoyed the movie, but I know that is not a movie for all audiences or the regular French cinema or Klapisch fans. This is a movie for those that cannot miss a Juliette Binoche performance (like me), enjoy Fabrice Luchini performances and for those that enjoy a movie with many characters and small interactions among them.

Enjoy.

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