french films

‘The Worst Ones’’ Take on Meta-Filmmaking Creates a Compelling Piece of Art

Ulises Duenas

The entire movie is also a commentary on the practice of street casting, which is the exact thing that the fictional director in the movie and the actual director of “The Worse Ones” does: taking people who aren’t professionals and having them portray alternate versions of themselves. The criticism of reinforcing negative stereotypes is brought up and characters say that the film risks showing that the neighborhood is worse off than it really is.

‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ Features Audrey Tatou in an Intriguing Romantic Thriller

Sandra Bertrand

When it comes to games of the heart, the French are very deft players.  And that’s never been more the case than when Audrey Tautou, that wickedly charming screen gamin, walks into a flower shop and orders a rose for her beloved.  In Laetitia Colombani’s black comedy, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, “a rose is not just a rose is not just a rose” in Gertrude Stein’s apt phrase, but a symbol of some very dark and dirty business of the heart ahead.

French Film ‘Vandal’ Delves into the World of Graffiti Artists

Gabriella Tutino

Sent to Strasbourg, Cherif has to readjust as he takes up the construction trade, learns to live under his uncle’s rules, and works alongside his father. He’s in for a surprise when his cousin—a supposed goody-two shoes—brings him along to tag with his group Ork. Cherif’s initiation into the graffiti scene begins; he learns about a rival tagger, Vandal, who does his work on his own and at impressive heights. 

Jean-Paul Salome’s ‘Playing Dead’ Offers a Comedic Take on Solving Crime

Gabriella Tutino

In Playing Dead, Jean Renault is a recent unemployed actor—he has a reputation for being high maintenance and unpleasant to work with on set. After meeting with his agent, he is given the opportunity to re-enact murders for law enforcement. And so, Jean finds himself in Megeve, in the Alps, playing dead for the murders of the Beauchatel brothers.

Bourgeois Power Struggles Dominate Lea Frazer’s ‘Notre Univers Impitoyable’

John McGovern

A recurring theme in Shakespeare is the elusive nature of symbolic identities, particularly their relationship to gender. Many of his plays feature gender-bending moments, with characters that dress differently in order to expose the superficial differences between them. This theme runs throughout Notre Univers Impitoyable, and its disjointed narrative plays out two different scenarios involving the power couple of Victor and Margot. 

French Comedy ‘Let My People Go’ Delves into Family Problems With Quirky Humor

Snapper S. Ploen

Despite the amusing family neuroses and the “struggle through adversity to find happiness” underlining, the film ultimately comes off as flatly agreeable, but hardly fantastic. It has its adorable moments of affection filtered through a shell of eccentric family stories and slapstick humor. Those scenes meant to convey deeper feelings never find real intensity even though the conflicts they hover around are both real and thought-provoking. 

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