La belle saison [Summertime] (2015)

La belle saison
Director: Catherine Corsini
Writer: Catherine Corsini, Laurette Polmanss
Cast: Cécile De FranceIzïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky, Jean-Henri Compère, Loulou Hanssen, Kévin Azaïs, Benjamin Bellecour, Laetitia Dosch, Sarah Suco, Calypso Valois,
Seen on: 26.5.2016

Plot:
1971. Delphine (Izïa Higelin) just arrived in Paris to study. As the wide-eyed country girl she soon finds herself swept up in a feminist activist group, drawn in by the French-Spanish teacher Carole (Cécile De France). Both Delphine and Carole are a little surprised when they realize that their attraction isn’t in fact platonic. When Delphine has to return home because her father (Jean-Henri Compère) falls ill, Carole follows. But under the watchful eyes of Delphine’s mother (Noémie Lvovsky) and society in general, can their love work?

La belle saison is a nice film. It didn’t blow my mind with how great it was, but it was a really good film that I enjoyed a lot.

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Möbius (2013)

Möbius
Director: Eric Rochant
Writer: Eric Rochant
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Cécile De France, Tim Roth, Émilie Dequenne, Vladimir Menshov

Plot:
Alice (Cécile de France) is an American trader in a Russian bank in Monaco. She had to leave the USA after less than legal trades, a circumstance which makes her the target of the FSB who would like to take down the bank’s owner Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth) for money laundry. But there are two things that make this more difficult: one, the FSB doesn’t know that Alice is already working for the CIA. And two, FSB leader Moise (Jean Dujardin) starts an affair with Alice.

kathrintha, with whom I saw the film, summed it up perfectly, so I’m gonna just steal it: “It’s sad when a film just falls flat on it’s pretentious face halfway to So-Bad-It’s-Good.”

möbius

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Le gamin au vélo [The Kid with a Bike] (2011)

Le gamin au vélo
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Cast: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier

Plot:
Cyril (Thomas Doret) lives in a foster home and tries desperately to find his dad  (Jérémie Renier) who not only vanished from Cyril’s life but took Cyril’s bike with him. On one of Cyril’s excursions he makes contact with Samantha (Cécile De France). She finds Cyril’s bike and then even agrees to have Cyril visiting her on weekends. But his way is a rocky one.

The film has its weaknesses – mostly a weird ambiguity between naivité and realism – but it also has a very strong cast and captures Cyril and his situation perfectly.

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Hereafter (2010)

Hereafter is Clint Eastwood‘s newest film, starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Frankie and George McLaren, Bryce Dallas Howard and a cameo by Derek Jacobi.

Plot:
Three people all touched by death:
French journalist Marie LeLay (Cécile de France) is on holidays when she’s hit by the Tsunami and almost drowns. From then on, she’s obsessed with the life after death experience she’s had and tries to make sense of it all.
George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is trying to hard to lead a normal life, which is made impossible by his talent: whenever he touches someone, he sees the dead people who were close to them.
Marcus (George and Frankie McLaren) tries to get back on his feet after the death of his twin brother Jason (Frankie and George McLaren) and his mother (Lyndsey Marshal) going to rehab.

As I’ve said before, I really don’t like Clint Eastwood as a director. So nobody was more surprised than me that the thing I liked least about this film was Peter Morgan‘s script.

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L’instinct de mort (Mesrine: Part 1 – Death Instinct) (2008)

L’instinct de mort (Mesrine: Part 1 – Death Instinct) is part one (of two) of a biopic about Jacques Mesrine, directed by Jean-François Richet and starring Vincent Cassel, Cécile De France and Gérard Depardieu. L’instinct de mort follows Mesrine lives from the start of his criminal career to the showdown of events in Canada. [The second part starts there and continues to his death.]

Plot:
Mesrine (Vincent Cassel) was a soldier in the Algerian war where he witnessed gruesome events, which might or might not have been a trigger for his following ruthlessness. Back in France, he started working for a small gangster boss (Gérard Depardieu). He did pretty much everything from robbing banks to murdering and beating people. After getting arrested, trying to lead a normal life and going back to his criminal ways, Mesrine got into trouble with another group of gangsters and eventually fled with his mistress Jeanne (Cécile de France), first to the US, then to Canada. In Canada he met Jean-Paul Mercier (Roy Dupuis) who was part of the Front de libération du Québec. After a failed kidnapping, all three of them got arrested and Mesrine was sentenced to ten years in prison. But he escaped, robbed banks and later tried to break out some other prisoners of the same prison but failed there.  Shortly before he returnes to France, the movie ends.

Mesrine was an interesting character and Vincent Cassel is an amazing cast. But the movie is definitely not for everyone – it’s pretty frank with its sex scenes in the first half and exceptionally brutal in the second half. No, that’s not true. It’s brutal throughout the whole movie. The cutting and the directing weren’t great, but it definitely made me want to see part two.

Mesrine

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Un secret [A Secret] (2007)

Un secret is a French movie by writer/director Claude Miller, based on Philippe Grimbert‘s [French] autobiographic book [French] and starring Cécile de France, Patrick Bruel, Ludivine Sagnier, Julie Depardieu and Mathieu Almaric.

Plot:
The movie tells the story of François [in order of age: Valentin Vigourt, Quentin Dubuis and Mathieu Almaric] and his parents [Cécile de France, Patrick Bruel] in the 50s, 60s and today, respectively.
He always was a small, rather sick child and harshly felt the disappointment from his father, an athlete himself. To compensate for that, François imagines to have the perfect brother, who achieves all the things he doesn’t dare to.
But more things are going on in this family than just an overcompensating little boy in past-war France. And François slowly uncovers the secrets that are kept from him.

This really is a well-written, well-acted and well-made movie that I thoroughly enjoyed – after it stopped trying to surprise me.

secret

[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

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