Friday, May 31, 2013

French Cinema Must-See Films: Le Passé & Les Gamins



Last year, I had a film review on this blog almost every month, but as I've been so busy with Oxford work, I haven't had much time to watch any films!  Since I'm collecting data for my dissertation in France by myself, I've had several evenings where the best option for my student budget seems like going to the wonderfully cheap (4 euro!) student price cinema. Not to mention the lovely set-up that seems to be standard at the French cinema --a wonderful cafe (with Nespresso After Eight mint lattes, for example) and a neatly organized candy and popcorn stand.

Le Passé, ("The Past") was an excellent drama that has one two awards.  Bérénice Bejo, the actrice who was in The Artist, won Best Actrice  and Asghar Farhadi won Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, which was just a few weeks ago, I believe.  

The story centers on a family who is torn apart by a divorce and a suicide; the emotions are vivid and realistic and the actors, especially the children (Pauline Burlet & Elyes Aguis) portray the angst, trauma, fear, compassion and love that brew in family politics and drama.  I won't ruin the plot for you, but I have to say it's a moving, meaningful piece of art that is a must-see. If you don't speak French, find a subtitled version...it's that good!


Les Gamins, literally, "The Kids",was a  surprisingly funny comedy about a young couple who is about to get married, and the future-father-in-law, who, after a fight with his wife, convinces his future-son-in-law that marriage really isn't that great.  The father and son-in-law end up being "bachelors" and hanging out together, while the mom and her daughter grow closer. Sounds a bit strange, but it was really fun!

Tonight, though, I think I'll opt for an English movie (that new Ryan Gosling one), only because I don't really feel like watching a Robert de Niro comedy about weddings dubbed in French, and that seems to be the only French option left at the theatre closest to me.  Perhaps I'll see a film in Montpellier and add that to my post!

Stay tuned for slideshow posts of my trips to Rouen & Montpellier (both the one at the beginning of May and this week's) coming soon! I managed to take a day or so out of my data collection time to enjoy both cities...so watch this space for fun posts!


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