Lourdes

Believe It or Not

May 15, 2019 | Documentary | By Heidi Ellison

Ever wonder what really goes on at Lourdes, aside from a roaring trade in bottled holy water, statuettes of the Virgin Mary, rosaries and a multitude of kitschy souvenirs? The new documentary Lourdes, by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai (both … Read More

J’Veux du Soleil

Just People

May 8, 2019 | Documentary | By Heidi Ellison

I went to see the documentary J’Veux du Soleil! (I Want Some Sun!) hoping to find an answer to the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind in France these days: what do the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) want? Directors … Read More

Celle que Vous Croyez

Woman on the Edge

March 5, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

The latest vehicle for French actress Juliette Binoche is Celle que Vous Croyez (Who You Think I Am), directed by Safy Nebbou and based on the novel of the same name (reviewed here) by Camille Laurens. Binoche plays Claire, a 50-year-old literature professor … Read More

Pau

In Search of the Lost Father

February 27, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

How do you make grief visible onscreen? Showing a character crying or looking sad for the length of a feature-length film is, of course, out of the question. A very young French-American filmmaker, Alexandre Leter, who was only 17 when … Read More

L’Ordre des Médecins

Operating without a Scalpel

February 6, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

L’Ordre des Médecins (Breath of Life), the first feature film directed by David Roux, takes place almost entirely in the closed world of a French hospital. Simon, played by the handsome and always convincing Jérémie Renier, is a self-assured 37-year-old pulmonologist … Read More

Une Jeunesse Dorée

The Palace Years

January 23, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

The Paris nightclub Le Palace, which had its heyday in the 1980s, has taken on mythic status in the French imagination in the way that Studio 54 did in the United States. Now we have an autobiographical film, Une Jeunesse Dorée (Golden … Read More

Le Grand Bain

A Plunge into Implausibility

January 9, 2019 | Comedy | By Nick Hammond

Isn’t it just typical? You wait so long for a film about a middle-aged male synchronized swimming team, then two come along at once. In Britain, Swimming with Men, starring comedian Rob Bryden, has received middling reviews (“likably daft,” said … Read More

Amin

A Life Torn in Two

October 10, 2018 | Drama | By Stephen O'Shea

Following his award-laden outing with Fatima, director Philippe Faucon returns with yet another finely observed immigrant drama. The title character of Faucon’s Amin, played with winningly stoic charisma by Moustapha Mbengue, is an alpha Senegalese who splits his time between … Read More

Sauvage

Wild Child

September 26, 2018 | Drama | By Nick Hammond

We may all have had our fill of movies about a tart with a heart, but Sauvage is something different. The central character, Léo (Félix Maritaud), is a 22-year-old gay male prostitute who, despite being obliged to perform degrading acts … Read More