Persepolis (2007)

Persepolis
Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Writer: Vincent Paronnaud
Based on: Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical comic
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle Lopes Benites, François Jerosme, Tilly Mandelbrot
Seen on: 24.5.2021

Plot:
Marji (Gabrielle Lopes Benites) is precocious and rather wild girl. She grows up with her parents (Catherine Deneuve, Simon Abkarian) and her grandmother (Danielle Darrieux) in Tehran. Her family is political – a fact that has gotten her uncle Anoush (François Jerosme) into prison already. With the Islamic Revolution, things become even more difficult for them. Finally her parents decide to send Marji – now a teenager and called Marjane (Chiara Mastroianni) – to Austria for her own safety. But being an Iranian girl in Austria isn’t much easier than being one in Iran.

Persepolis has been on my radar for a while now, and I’m not sure why I never watched it until now (probably a case of me wanting to read the comic this is based on first, but I never did). Anyhow, I watched it now and it really was very good.

The film poster showing Marjane, her chin in her hand. Behind her is a bubble that shows her family - mother, father, uncle and grandmother standing around a sofa on which she sits as a child.
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Le tout nouveau testament [The Brand New Testament] (2015)

Le tout nouveau testament
Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Writer: Jaco Van Dormael, Thomas Gunzig
Cast: Pili Groyne, Benoît Poelvoorde, Catherine Deneuve, François Damiens, Yolande Moreau
Seen on: 4.2.2016

Plot:
God (Benoît Poelvoorde) leaves in Brussels with his daughter Ea (Pili Groyne) and his wife (Yolande Moreau). He’s a bitter, abusive man who enjoys nothing more than making humanity’s existence as miserable as possible, including his wife and daughter. One day, Ea decides that she’s had enough. With a little nudge from her brother, she decides to find six new apostles and change her father’s regime, starting with sending all of humanity their precise date of death and destroying the computer God usually works with. But God won’t go down without a fight.

I quite liked the idea of the film and I’m sure that Van Dormael and Gunzig had good intentions. Nevertheless the film and its overwhelming sexism left a sour taste in my mouth.

letoutnouveautestament

[SPOILERS]

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Potiche [Trophy Wife] (2010)

[Viennale.]

Potiche is the newest film by François Ozon, based on a play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy and starring Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini and Jérémie Renier.

Plot:
1977: Suzanne (Catherine Deneuve) is practically the definition of a trophy wife. Married to Robert (Fabrice Luchini), who owns an umbrella factory, she spends her days with the household, writing bad poetry and getting visits from her grown kids. But when the workers at the umbrella factory start striking, it’s Suzanne who has to step in for her choleric husband.

Potiche is an entertaining film with a good cast. Its feminist message is watered down quite a bit to make more room for comedy, but it nicely captured the feminist current of the time. Most of all, it’s light-hearted.

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