Hors Normes

Do-Good, Feel-Good Film

December 11, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

Directors and screenwriters Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache seem to be making a career out of feel-good movies about gnarly subjects. Their huge hit, Intouchables (2011), the second most successful film ever made in France, was an upbeat film about … Read More

Matthias et Maxime

Will They or Won't They?

December 4, 2019 | Drama | By Nick Hammond

Having just turned 30, the director and actor Xavier Dolan can no longer be called the wunderkind of Canadian cinema, but the fact that he has already directed eight full-length features shows how prolific he has been. He has also … Read More

La Belle Époque

High-Tech Time Machine

November 27, 2019 | Drama | By Nick Hammond

My heart sinks these days when I see the cast list of new French movies containing familiar names of great actors from the past. All too often they seem to have phoned in their roles and appear perfectly content to … Read More

Chambre 212

Ghosts of Lovers Past

November 13, 2019 | Comedy | By Nick Hammond

Although not born in the city, Christophe Honoré has become the quintessential Parisian film director. Many of his movies (such as Dans Paris and my particular favorite, Les Chansons d’Amour) are set in very recognizable locations around the city. His … Read More

Atlantique

Ghostly Romeo and Juliet

October 16, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

Having only seen the trailer, I went to the film Atlantique, directed by Mati Diop and winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, under the misapprehension that it was a film about the struggles of migrants … Read More

Alice et le Maire

Political Talkie

October 7, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

Éric Rohmer, the king of “talkies,” helped give French cinema its all-talk, no-action reputation. Most of his quiet, charming movies were filled with intellectual discussions about the politics of love, with little actual lovemaking. Now, one of Rohmer’s favorite actors, … Read More

Les Hirondelles de Kaboul

Just a Woman

October 2, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

It’s not exactly news that life for women in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban was a nightmare, but the animated film Les Hirondelles de Kaboul (The Swallows of Kabul), by Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec, offers a pertinent … Read More

Le Daim

French Davy Crockett Goes Berserk

July 24, 2019 | Comedy | By Nick Hammond

When a French movie is described as a “comedy” and has a July release date in Paris, it almost invariably means that (1) it’s a generic film about a chaotic summer holiday with families/groups of mature male friends/bands of teens … Read More

Sibyl

Woman as Volcano

June 5, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

No wonder there is so much mistrust of psychiatrists when the French keep making films like Sibyl, directed by Justine Triet. Sibyl (Virginie Efira) is a novelist turned shrink who wants to write another novel, so she dumps most of … Read More

#Female Pleasure

Sex Crimes Uncovered

May 29, 2019 | Documentary | By Heidi Ellison

The documentary #Female Pleasure doesn’t have much to do with France per se (except that a few scenes were shot in Paris), but its themes are universal, and I was dismayed to learn that this well-made documentary of compelling interest has had only … Read More