Gaby Baby Doll (2014)

Gaby Baby Doll
Director: Sophie Letourneur
Writer: Sophie Letourneur, Anne-Louise Trividic
Cast: Lolita Chammah, Benjamin Biolay, Félix Moati
Seen on: 29.5.2021

Content Note: attempted rape

Gaby (Lolita Chammah) just moved into a big country house to get some rest. She is anxious, afraid of everything and can’t sleep alone. That’s why her boyfriend Vincent (Félix Moati) is supposed to stay with her. But Vincent feels used by Gabby, more like her handler than her boyfriend and soon takes off. Gaby desperately looks for anybody to stay with her overnight and finally latches herself onto Nico (Benjamin Biolay) who lives like a hermit in the garden shack of a grand estate nearby. Nico just wants to be alone, but despite himself, Gaby gets to him.

I have to admit that I struggled with Gaby Baby Doll, especially with Gaby. While I’m usually here for the portrayal of difficult women, the way she constantly blazed past any boundary really didn’t work for me. Especially since the story proved her right in the end.

The film poster showing Nico (Benjamin Biolay), Gaby (Lolita Chammah) and Nico's Dog sitting in the grass in the sun.
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Personal Shopper (2016)

Personal Shopper
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Nora von Waldstätten, Benjamin Biolay
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 29.10.2016

Maureen (Kristen Stewart) works as a personal shopper for celebrity Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) in Paris. It’s not necessarily her dream job, but she has to finance her life in Paris and she can’t leave Paris, until she has made contact with her recently deceased twin brother – and she is convinced she will make that contact, even if it is taking longer than usual. She is a medium after all. But as time passes and nothing happens, Maureen starts to consider leaving anyway. That’s when she starts to receive texts from an unknown sender who knows a lot about her.

Personal Shopper has a lot to offer and took me by surprise a couple of times. But then the plot moves in a direction that I didn’t particularly care for, which ultimately kept the film from going all the way into “wow” territory.

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La meute [The Pack] (2010)

[One of the films of the /slash Filmfestival‘s special European evening.]

La meute is Franck Richard‘s first feature film, starring Émilie Dequenne, Benjamin Biolay, Philippe Nahon and Yolande Moreau.

Charlotte (Émilie Dequenne) is driving across the country, without much of a goal. She picks up hitchhiker Max (Benjamin Biolay) and they end up at a rather solitary truck stop. After they are attacked by a group of bikers, who are fended off by the truck stop owner La Spack (Yolande Moreau), Max heads to the bathroom – and doesn’t return. Charlotte wonders and worries. She decides to stick around after La Spack closes the restaurant and look for Max. Which might just be the single worst decision of her life.

If you haven’t heard anything else about the film than what you’ve read here, trust me and don’t look for more information before watching the film. And you should watch it – it’s a tight, atmospheric film with a great heroine, generally good performances and if you don’t know more about it, you’re going to be really surprised. I didn’t like the last ten minutes or so, but other than that, this film is a treat for every horror fan.

Also, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading now, because there will be spoilers. SPOILERS, I tell you!

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