Sunday, December 16, 2012
While Phillppe Claudel's debut feature film, Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long), touched me beyond whatever I expected -especially when saw movie for the leading actress and not for knowing the director- his second film touched me for how natural and joyful his storytelling/filmmaking style can be.
Better known as a writer, Claudel also has written several screenplays -some adapted from his own novels-, this is the first time that a film has an original screenplay written by him and moves from what I consider very intense emotional drama in his previous film to very light drama with great touches of joyful humor making film very easy to watch and enjoy.
I've Loved You So Long leading role went to excellent Kristin Scott-Thomas and here he also gave leading role to a not-born-in-France actor, Stefano Accorsi that I do enjoy his performances in Italian films like, for example, Saturno Contro (Saturn in Opposition) and Accorsi's first incursion into French cinema delivers a good interpretation of a widow, father to a teenager daughter and brother to a "crazy" anarchist that won't leave the house until Berlusconi is out of power.
Set in multicultural Strasbourg film tells a slice-of-life story of Baroque music teacher, volunteer reader in hospitals and singer, Alessandro (Accorsi), whose life is not always rosy as his daughter has reached her teens, has never really recovered from the death of his young wife and his self-exiled brother refusal to accept capitalism ways. It is a family story developed with many storylines, that clearly shows the love that each character feels for each other no matter what while also showing how each helps the other.
Most surprising is, thanks to the hospital volunteer reading storyline, that we are able to see a rare Anouk Aimée performance and she is great as always in this too-brief for me role. Then music plays an integral role in movie with great music score but also with all the singing, which is fully-integrated in the narrative. It's a happy movie that could make you sing along if you are familiar with the songs.
All of the above is truly amazingly presented as film actually deals with very serious themes as life and death, serious illness, fatherhood, widowhood, father-daughter relationship, politics, love, art, intellect, unconventional families and more. Obviously is Claudel's storytelling style of choice what makes riding those themes very easy and makes film a very enjoyable entertaining experience.
A great film to watch when you're in the mood to have a light and happy entertaining moment; which have to add, is NOT common in French cinema and you most likely will find it in Italian cinema.
Watch trailer @MOC