Les Misérables

Hugo in the Projects

March 4, 2020 | By Nick Hammond | Film

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 movie that won for best film, has undeservedly gone under the radar. Those hoping for another … Read More

Chambre 212

Ghosts of Lovers Past

November 13, 2019 | By Nick Hammond | Film

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

Alice et le Maire

Political Talkie

October 7, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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

Le Daim

French Davy Crockett Goes Berserk

July 24, 2019 | By Nick Hammond | Film

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 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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

Lourdes

Believe It or Not 

May 22, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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

Pau

In Search of the Lost Father

February 27, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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