Le passé [The Past] (2013)

Le passé
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Writer: Asghar Farhadi
Cast: Ali Mosaffa, Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Pauline Burlet, Elyes Aguis, Jeanne Jestin, Sabrina Ouazani
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) just returned to France from Iran to finalize his divorce from Marie (Bérénice Bejo). What he doesn’t know is that Marie already lives with a new man, Samir (Tahar Rahim) and his son Fouad (Elyes Aguis), a realization with which he struggles a bit. But not as much as Marie’s oldest daughter Lucie (Pauline Burlet). Since Ahmad and Lucie get along very well, Marie asks him to discover what’s going on. Ahmad agrees and suddenly finds himself deeper in his ex-wife’s new life than he thought he would be.

Le passé starts off as a very well-made, very normal divorce story. It then descends into melodramatic depths, though, that only hurt the credibility of and my interest in the story.

le-passe

Continue reading

Advertisements

Populaire [Popular] (2012)

Populaire
Director: Régis Roinsard
Writer: Régis Roinsard, Daniel Presley, Romain Compingt
Cast: Déborah François, Romain Duris, Bérénice Bejo, Shaun Benson, Mélanie Bernier, Nicolas Bedos, Miou-Miou

Plot:
Rose (Déborah François) dreams of living the village she grew up in and becoming a secretary. When she applies for a job with Louis (Romain Duris), he is impressed by her ability to type quickly, despite using only two fingers. But it turns out that she’s pretty unsuited to work as a secretary otherwise. So Louis decides to train her for the typewriting championship. Having nowhere else to go, Rose moves in with him and they set to work.

Populaire gleefully traipses through pretty much every cliché the 50s have to offer in a strange mix of reverence and irony. It’s sweet and fun, but not awesomely great.

populaire

Continue reading

The Artist (2011)

The Artist
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Writer: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcom McDowell
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the star of silent films. At the height of his career, he meets the aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). Even though they hit it off, their paths lead them into seperate directions: Peppy is drawn to talking pictures, while George doesn’t believe that anyone would want to hear him talk. As talking pictures get more and more popular, George’s star starts to sink quickly.

The Artist’s concept is absolutely wonderful – making a silent movie that laments the end of silent movies. And it’s a beautiful, funny, sentimental, touching and smart film which pretty much makes it perfect.

Continue reading