Nick Hammond

Nick Hammond, Professor in French at Cambridge University, regularly writes reviews for "The Times Literary Supplement" and is a former member of the Birmingham Symphony Chorus under the baton of Simon Rattle. His books include "The Cambridge History of French Literature" (Cambridge University Press, 2011, as co-editor), "Gossip, Sexuality and Scandal in France 1610-1715" (Peter Lang, 2011), and "The Powers of Sound and Song in Early Modern Paris" (Penn State UP, 2019). 

De Rouille et d’Os

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Extreme Tragedy MeetsEveryday Tragedy Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), takes Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) for her liberating first swim since her accident. Photo: Roger Arpajou Why Not Productions Jacques Audiard’s reputation as one of France’s most original, hard-hitting movie directors is sure to … Read More

Laurence Anyways

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Time for Precocious Talent to Grow Up and Knuckle Down Melvil Poupaud as Laurence. Photo © Shayne Laverdière When reviewing director Xavier Dolan’s last film, Les Amours Imaginaires, I wrote that his best was yet to come, just as long … Read More

Tuer le Père (2)

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

On the right: real-life Amélie Nothomb. On the left: book-jacket Amélie Nothomb. Certain aspects of novelist Amélie Nothomb’s work are utterly predictable: for example, every fall a new novel (usually around 150 pages long) appears without fail, with a portrait … Read More

Dans la Maison

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Risky Game of Seduction in Ozon’s Best Film Yet Left to right: Fabrice Luchini, Emmanuelle Seigner and Ernst Umhauer Dans la Maison (In the House), prolific filmmaker François Ozon’s latest offering, may well be his most accomplished movie to date. Combining … Read More

Alceste à Bicyclette

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Great Idea for a Film Veers off Course Fabrice Luchini, playing actor Serge Tanneur, wears his Alceste costume to a party. It is easy to imagine actor Fabrice Luchini and director Philippe Le Guay sitting down to hatch a brilliant idea … Read More


February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

Paris Update Art Notes BURNT BAR BLUES A Nana Mouskouri album cover amid the debris. A much-loved institution in Paris’s ninth arrondissement, the corner bar Chez Sylvain, went up in flames last week. Although Sylvain himself got out safely, his … Read More

Le Pont des Soupirs, Offenbach

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

  BRIDGE OF SIGHS Scene from “Le Pont des Soupirs.” Photo © Gilles Plagnol for Les Tréteaux Lyriques. For an entertaining if intellectually undemanding experience, you could do far worse than go to the 150th anniversary staging of Jacques Offenbach’s … Read More

Huis Clos

February 7, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Archive

A Pleasant Evening in Sartrean Hell The Théâtre du Nord-Ouest on the busy Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, just off Paris’s Grands Boulevards, has definitely seen better days. The peeling paint and dilapidated Favorite


January 19, 2010 | By Nick Hammond | Music

Norma (Lina Tetriani) is the head druidess of the Gauls, who resemble inmates of a mental institution in this production. Photo: Marie-Noelle Robert Every new production of Bellini’s Norma, especially in Paris, needs to deal with the extraordinary legacy of … Read More