L’État Sauvage

Calamity Jeanne Rides Again

March 11, 2020 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

A feminist French Western? Well, why not? Just about every other imaginable kind of Western has already been made, so not much else is left. L’État Sauvage (Savage State), directed by David Perrault, takes place in 1861 during the American … Read More

Les Misérables

Hugo in the Projects

March 4, 2020 | Drama | By Nick Hammond

Editor’s note: Les Misérables is now available on DVD from Amazon and FNAC for home viewing. In the midst of the furor surrounding Roman Polanski’s award as best director for J’Accuse at last week’s Césars (the French Oscars), Les Misérables, the … Read More

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

On a Slow Burn

February 26, 2020 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

I am rather late in seeing Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), directed by Céline Sciamma, but the movie, released in the United States on Valentine’s Day, is topical once again. It is … Read More

J’ai Perdu Mon Corps

Body Issues

December 18, 2019 | Drama | By Heidi Ellison

Unlike Les Hirondelles de Kabul, reviewed here recently, the film J’ai Perdu Mon Corps (I Lost My Body), directed by Jérémy Clapin, has good reason to be animated. Full of fantasy elements. it would have been most difficult to make … Read More

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