Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse [My Golden Days] (2015)

Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse [Literally: Three Memories of My Youth]
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Writer: Arnaud Desplechin, Julie Peyr
Prequel/Sequel to: Comment je me suis disputé… (ma vie sexuelle)
Cast: Quentin Dolmaire, Lou Roy-Lecollinet, Mathieu Amalric, Cécile Garcia-Fogel, Françoise Lebrun, Olivier Rabourdin, Elyot Milshtein
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 27.12.2015

Plot:
Paul Dédalus (Mathieu Almaric) has been living as a diplomat in Tajikistan for a while but now it’s time for him to return to France. His return to France makes him relive some of his most important memories: his difficult childhood with his mentally ill mother (Cécile Garcia-Fogel), a school trip to the USSR when he was a teenager (Quentin Dolmaire) where he engaged in a bit of smuggling, but most imporantly his relationship with Esther (Lou Roy-Lecollinet) whom he falls in love with in his late teens. Their relationship is tempestuous and often destructive, despite their love for each other.

Going into the film, I didn’t know that it was actually kind of the background story, but also continuation of the story Desplechin told in a film 20 years ago (Comment je me suis disputé…); a film I haven’t seen. This fact may explain the weird structure of My Golden Days but regardless, the disjointed nature of the three memories and the unsatisfying way the framing device is left didn’t work any better for me.

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La dune [The Dune] (2013)

La dune
Director: Yossi Aviram
Writer: Yossi Aviram
Cast: Niels Arestrup, Lior Ashkenazi, Guy Marchand, Emma de Caunes, Moni Moshonov, Mathieu Amalric
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 20.6.2015

Plot:
After breaking up with his girlfriend because he can’t see himself having children and thus tells her to get an abortion, Hanoch (Lior Ashkenazi) goes on a trip from Israel to France where he starts to basically stalk police officer Reuven (Niels Arestrup). Reuven works in Missing Persons and is ready for retirement after the catastrophic end to a case he worked. But then Hanoch is found, without any ID and refusing to talk, wandering in the dunes near a beach and Reuven is tasked with figuring out who he is.

Unfortunately, La dune proved to be the bland ending to this year’s identities Festival. It didn’t start off badly, but it never manages to build up any tension or make me care for any of the characters.

la-dune[SPOILERS]

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

grandbudapesthotel

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Jimmy P. (2013)

Jimmy P. aka Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Writer: Arnaud Desplechin, Kent Jones, Julie Peyr
Based on: Georges Devereux‘ book Reality and Dream: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric, Gina McKeeMichelle Thrush, Larry Pine, Misty Upham
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del Toro) returned from the war a changed man. His panic attacks have his sister Gayle (Michelle Thrush) worried, so she takes it upon her to find a good doctor for him. They’re referred to a hospital where the doctors think it best to involve an anthropologist, Georges Devereux (Mathieu Amalric), who might be able to tell if Jimmy is actually schizophrenic or just an “Indian”.

Jimmy P. had an excellent cast and the story is really interesting, but everything else was rather “eh”.

jimmyp

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Re-Watch: Quantum of Solace (2008)

Quantum of Solace
Director: Marc Forster
Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Sequel to: Casino Royale
Cast: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Gemma Arterton, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Jesper Christensen, David Harbour, Rory Kinnear, [and for about 5 seconds Stana Katic]
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Set directly after the events in Casino Royale, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is out for revenge and to understand exactly what happened with Vesper. To that end he kidnaps Mr White (Jesper Christensen) and he and M (Judi Dench) interrogate him. But before White can reveal much more than that he is working for a mysterious organisation, things go south. In the end Bond is left only with one lead that brings him to seemingly squeaky-clean environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). But things are far from being clean.

Watching Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back to back just makes one thing even clearer: Quantum of Solace really and definitely and fully sucks.

[SPOILERS]

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Cosmopolis (2012)

Cosmopolis
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg
Based on: Don DeLillo‘s novel
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K’Naan, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Philip Nozuka

Plot:
Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) is young and rich and drives through New York in his limousine trying to get a haircut. But since the president is visiting the city, traffic is pretty clogged up and this takes a lot longer than anticipated. Eric starts taking several meetings in his car but bit by bit his life is crumbling apart, as Eric purposefully loses money and sabotages himself.

Holy fucking shit, this movie is extremely bad. I thought that Cronenberg would outweigh Pattinson’s total lack of charisma, but unfortunately the script is a single excercise in what-the-fuckery that depends on said non-existant charisma and so the entire film is set up to fail.

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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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Le chat du rabbin [The Rabbi’s Cat] (2011)

Le chat du rabbin
Director: Antoine Delesvaux, Joann Sfar
Writer: Joann Sfar, Sandrina Jardel
Based on: Joann Sfar‘s comic
Cast: François Morel, Maurice Bénichou, Hafsia Herzi, Sava Lolov, Eric Elmosnino, Mathieu Amalric
Part of: Anilogue

Plot:
Algeria in the 1920s. The local rabbi’s (Maurice Bénichou) cat (François Morel) starts talking after eating the family parrot. And since the cat loves nothing more than the rabbi’s daughter (Hafsia Herzi), he wants to convert to Judaism to be able to court her. But that is only the beginning of the rabbi’s and the cat’s adventures that leads them right across Africa.

The movie is very funny, but it kinda ends in the middle of nowhere (literally and figuratively) and it has a few lengths. Nevertheless, it’s pretty excellent.

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Tournée [On Tour] (2010)

Tournée is a movie directed by Mathieu Amalric, written by him, Marcelo Novais Teles, Philippe Di Folco and Raphaëlle Valbrune and starring Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Evie Lovelle, Roky Roulette and Amalric himself.

Plot:
Tournée follows a group of American Burlesque dancers on tour through France. They were brought there by former TV producer Joachim Zand (Mathieu Amalric) who struggles with quite a few issues. He had to leave France and his entire life including his kids behind before and the tour is the first time he got back. Things start to escalate as they get closer to Paris.

I’m a little torn about this film. It’s very watchable, moves along at a good pace and has some interesting women in it – always points in favor. But it doesn’ t really go anywhere and Joachim was really an unnecessary character.

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L’ennemi public n°1 (Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1) (2008)

L’ennemi public n°1 (Mesrine: Part 2 – Public Enemy #1) is part two (of two) of a biopic about Jacques Mesrine, directed by Jean-François Richet and starring Vincent Cassel, Ludivine Sagnier and Mathieu Amalric. [Review of the first movie here.]

Plot:
L’ennemi public n°1 starts with Mesrine’s (Vincent Cassel) death, then goes back for a while and unroll things until he dies (again). This time round, we see trials and prisone time for Mesrine, but also break-outs and political activism. There’s a little bit of Catch Me If You Can going on with police officer Broussard (Olivier Gourmet), and other stuff.
[If this plot summary sounds a little flighty, it is… but more on that later.]

The first part was good, though it had some problems. The second part was problem, though it had some goods. The cast is still strong, but the plot was all over the place, the pacing was off and I was more bored than anything else. Maybe that’s because they were trying to go for a light-hearted movie [at least compared to part one] with a really heavy-hearted topic. Just didn’t work.

l-ennemi-public-n-1

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