La rançon de la gloire [The Price of Fame] (2014)

La rançon de la gloire
Director: Xavier Beauvois
Writer: Xavier Beauvois, Etienne ComarMarie-Julie Maille
Cast: Benoît PoelvoordeRoschdy ZemSéli GmachChiara MastroianniNadine LabakiPeter CoyoteDolores ChaplinEugène ChaplinOlivier Rabourdin
Seen on: 20.6.2016

Plot:
Eddy (Benoît Poelvoorde) was just released from prison and is now staying with his best friend Osman (Roschdy Zem) and Osman’s daughter Samira (Séli Gmach). It’s not easy for Eddy to find his footing. Osman is dead-set on staying on the straight and narrow, despite big financial worries: his wife (Nadine Labaki) is ill and the hospital bills are mounting up. And then Charlie Chaplin dies and is buried not far from them. As Eddy watches the international grief, he has an idea: what if they were to hold Chaplin’s body for ransom?

La rançon de la gloire has all the makings of a dark little comedy with its unbelievable story that is actually based on true events, but unfortunately it falls almost completely flat.

rancondelagloire

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Homme au bain [Men at Bath] (2010)

Homme au bain
Director: Christophe Honoré
Writer: Christophe Honoré
Cast: François Sagat, Omar Ben Sellem, Chiara MastroianniDustin Segura-Suarez, Dennis Cooper
Part of: identities Festival

[Trigger Warning]

Plot:
Omar (Omar Ben Sellem) is leaving for New York to present a film there together with his friend Chiara (Chiara Mastroianni). Before he leaves, though, his boyfriend Emmanuel (François Sagat) turns their good-bye into a rape. So Omar tells him to be gone before he returns after a week. While Omar meets Dustin (Dustin Segura-Suarez) in New York, Emmanuel moves from money-making attempts to random sex, not knowing what to do with himself.

I did not like this film. It had me cringing a couple of times and when it didn’t make me uncomfortable, it mostly bored me. There were some redeeming moments, but it really wasn’t enough to make the film worth it.

hommeaubain

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Augustine (2012)

Augustine
Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour
Cast: Soko, Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Olivier Rabourdin, Roxane Duran
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Augustine (Soko) is a maid in the late 19th century in Paris. When she suffers from a kind of epileptic episode one night, she heads to the hospital and is promptly kept there and diagnosed with hysteria. When Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon) becomes aware of her case, he sees an opportunity to prove the effectiveness of his hysteria-treatment through hypnosis and so secure financial backing for his research.

Augustine was a really excellent movie, with a fantastic cast and an interesting story critically told. Plus, it looked really good. Definitely one of the highlights of the Viennale for me.

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Poulet aux prunes [Chicken with Plums] (2011)

Poulet aux prunes
Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Writer: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
Based on: Marjane Satrapi‘s graphic novel
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, Chiara Mastroianni, Isabella Rossellini

Plot:
Nasser-Ali (Mathieu Amalric) is a violinist who recently lost his violin. Unfortunately he can’t manage to find a new one that satisfies him and so he descends into a deep depression and decides to die by refusing to eat. While he wastes away, he  revisits important episodes in his life and imagines his kids’ futures. But maybe his depression has less to do with his violin and more with the woman he met on the street and  who didn’t recognize him?

Poulet aux prunes is a visually stunning film – especially every time they mix it up with animated sequences – and has a nice sense of humor. But Nasser-Ali is such an asshole that I couldn’t really enjoy the film.

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Americano (2011)

Americano
Director: Mathieu Demy
Writer: Mathieu Demy
Cast: Mathieu Demy, Salma Hayek, Geraldine Chaplin, Carlos Bardem, Chiara Mastroianni
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Martin’s (Mathieu Demy) estranged mother just died, so he travels from France to the USA, where she’s emigrated to years before, to take care of her affairs. Once there, his mother’s friend Linda (Geraldime Chaplin) tries to help him with getting everything in order. But Martin finds out about a Mexican immigrant his mother was close friends with and who she liked a lot. Generally lost in his life, he decides to travel to Mexico to find the (in the meantime deported) Lola (Salma Hayek) to tell her that his mother is dead.

The movie might have worked if it wasn’t for the idiotic script, the clichéd story, the annoying main character… basically, if all of it was Geraldine Chaplin being awesome. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and so the movie ends up being pretty boring.

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