Category Archives: French Film Reviews

Vincent, François, Paul et les Autres (the Others)

Mid-life unease is worn as light as a 1970s sports jacket in Claude Sautet’s expose of friendship and floundering between three men. Energetic entrepreneur, Vincent (Yves Montand), the uptight doctor, François (Michel Piccoli) and disillusioned writer, Paul (Serge Reggiani) all … Continue reading

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Conte d’Hiver (A Winter’s Tale)

Eric Rohmer reinvents fairytale with grey cold, charming chattering and the hopes of an ordinary woman. Neither Grimm nor Disney, greedy witch or shallow promise, Rohmer’s magic rests in the day-to-day and a heart’s steadfast belief that something, contrary to … Continue reading

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César et Rosalie

Male adoration and infatuation takes two forms in Claude Sautet’s love-triangle serenade, starring Romy Schneider as the woman unable to choose between a passionate entrepreneur and an aloof artist. Both are obsessed with her, but show their interest in different … Continue reading

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Le Boucher (The Butcher)

A disturbed butcher falling for a small-town schoolteacher forms the blood and bones of Claude Chabrol’s classic 1970 thriller. Set in the heart of the Dordogne close to one of the region’s prehistoric caves, Popaul (Jean Yanne) is a needy … Continue reading

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Paris Nous Appartient (Paris Belongs to Us)

Wide spaces and open ideas connect with paranoia and penned-in desire in Jacques Rivette’s first feature, the title of which is inspired by Charles Péguy’s reflection that Paris belongs to those who spend the summer there preparing for the winter … Continue reading

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A Nos Amours (To Our Romance)

An angry, mysterious affection exists between teenage Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire) and her father (Maurice Pialat, also the director), and from their first scene together, when he jokingly suggests he join his daughter and her best friend in bed for their … Continue reading

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Mademoiselle Chambon

When fear and timidity (and being unsure of how we feel) make it difficult to talk, music can provide a more eloquent and precise language. Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain) and Jean (Vincent Lindon) have this problem: they are both shy … Continue reading

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Juste Avant La Nuit (Just Before Nightfall)

Claude Chabrol’s Juste Avant La Nuit opens with an arresting S&M scene between married Charles (Michel Bouquet) and Laura, his mistress and wife of his best friend. When their play goes horribly wrong, resulting in her death, Charles returns to … Continue reading

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Fidelio : L’Odyssée D’Alice (Fidelio: Alice’s Journey)

Ariane Labed’s face is a map of closely drawn emotion, with eyes that are as articulate and luminous as the sea on which the ship sails. Continue reading

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