Celle que Vous Croyez

Woman on the Edge

March 5, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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 | 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

L’Ordre des Médecins

Operating without a Scalpel

February 6, 2019 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

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 | By Nick Hammond | Film

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

Transit

History Repeated?

May 2, 2018 | By Heidi Ellison | Film

The French-German production Transit, directed by Christian Petzold, is an odd bird of a film. It takes place in present-day France (oddly, no one has a cellphone, however), where unidentified “Fascist” occupiers are moving through the country arresting foreigners. The … Read More