Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Actrices (Actresses)

This Valeria Bruni Tedeschi movie is a little exasperating, as exasperating as the main character must be feeling when she’s reaching 40, has no lover, she’s called “Swiss lake” by an ex-lover, has no children and wishes for one, the gynecologist tells her male hormones are high and she should hurry up if she stills want to have a baby, no one understands her, she’s an actress that decided to star in a play with a character she does not really gets, and feels like all her past life she has been dreaming. Wow, I’m tired after just describing the main character.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi does not only direct this movie but also co writes and has the leading role of Marcelline the woman having the life turmoil. The film and script has been called slightly autobiographical and a good follow up to her first film as a director, Il est plus facile pour un chameau (It is Easier for a Camel), but if her first film was serious, her second film in the second half is clearly a tragicomedy drama that does generate good-hearted laughs.

The movie is not easy to watch, as the excellent cinematography remains the same when Marcelline is having conversations with dead people or the main character in the play, so when you are seeing the scenes there is no clue and you think they are real, but soon enough you start to realize that some characters are in her head.

The movie is fast paced, semi-neurotic especially in the second half, has extraordinary cinematography with the most beautiful views of Paris and excellent performances by the cast that also includes Mathieu Almaric, Louis Garrel, Valeria Golino, Noémie Lvovsky and Bruni Tedeschi real life mother, Marysa Borini that plays Marcelline’s mother and there is one scene with the two together in bed that is truly hilarious in a very dark way, as the mother tells her exactly what she thinks about her.

So I say it was exasperating and that’s exactly what you’re suppose to feel as Bruni Tedeschi marvelous handles the movie and her character to get that reaction from audiences; but so you know, the end has a positive message that is related to new beginnings.

The movie was in competition at the 2007 Un Certain Regard Cannes section where it won the Special Jury Prize, was also considered in the short list of movies for prestigious Louis Delluc award and has other nominations.

Not for all audiences you have to like French cinema and I believe that women will like it more than men. This is a movie that you have not to take too seriously that is IF you’re a single career oriented woman and you have already reached and overcome that famous 40 threshold. If you haven’t I suggest you take it very seriously.


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