Espèces menacées [Endangered Species] (2017)

Espèces menacées
Director: Gilles Bourdos
Writer: Michel Spinosa, Gilles Bourdos
Based on: Richard Bausch‘s short stories
Cast: Alice IsaazVincent RottiersGrégory GadeboisSuzanne ClémentEric ElmosninoAlice de LencquesaingDamien ChapelleBrigitte CatillonFrédéric Pierrot
Seen on: 17.9.2017
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Plot:
Joséphine (Alice Isaaz) and Tomasz (Vincent Rottiers) just got married and things should be all rosy happiness, but Tomasz has a mean streak and Joséphine has to take a lot of care not to set him off.
Meanwhile Melanie (Alice de Lencquesaing) has some big news to tell her father Vincent (Eric Elmosnino) but their relationship is difficult and their talk uncovers more and more gaps in their knowledge of each other.
Anthony (Damien Chapelle) looks for love in all the wrong places, but is more preoccupied with his mentally ill mother Nicole (Brigitte Catillon) to really focus on that.

Endangered Species pulled me in and kept me glued to the screen throughout, although I wasn’t quite as happy with the endings to the segment as with the rest of the film.

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Planetarium (2016)

Planetarium
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Writer: Rebecca Zlotowski, Robin Campillo
Cast: Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori, Louis Garrel, David Bennent, Damien Chapelle
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 29.10.2016

Plot:
Kate (Lily-Rose Depp) and Laura (Natalie Portman) are sisters who make their living with performances of psychic readings, with Kate’s youthful innocence convincing people of her talents as a seer, while Laura controls the show. The two don’t just perform for big audiences, they also do private séances. One of these brings them to film producer André Korben (Emmanuel Salinger) who lost his wife. Korben takes to the two women, wanting to use them for his filming business. But his interest becomes more and more obsessive.

Planetarium has promise but unfortunately it’s too messy and unfocused to really deliver on that promise. Ultimately it starts to drag and simply left me unsatisfied.

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Peur de rien [Parisienne] (2015)

Peur de rien
Director: Danielle Arbid
Writer: Danielle Arbid, Julie Peyr
Cast: Manal IssaPaul HamyDamien ChapelleVincent LacosteDominique BlancClara Ponsot
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 4.1.2016

Plot:
Lina (Manal Issa) comes to Paris from Lebanon to study. She is supposed to stay with her aunt and her husband but just before the semester actually starts, her uncle comes on to her. Lina runs away in shock. Without money, a place to stay or much idea about life in Paris, she sets out to build herself a life, with any means necessary.

Peur de Rien tells an interesting story and it tells it well, with one of the most fascinating and intriguing protagonists I’ve seen in a while. Every once in a while it strays a little too much and could have been more concise, but altogether, I really enjoyed it.

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