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DANS PARIS

Director: CHRISTOPHE HONORE

FRANCE • 2006 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 93 MIN


CHARISMATIC AND VERY DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES FROM TWO OF THE HOTTEST LEADING MEN IN CURRENT FRENCH CINEMA SHAPE THIS ALTERNATELY THOUGHTFUL AND INSOUCIANT FAMILY DRAMA FROM WRITER-DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHE HONORE.
Louis Garrel continues in the same vein as Bertolucci’s The Dreamers and his father Philippe’s Regular Lovers as the skirt-chasing, class-skipping Left-Bank student Jonathan, whose carefree attitudes could hardly be more of a contrast with his sibling Paul (Romain Duris, so good in Jacques Audiard’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped), who’s virtually crushed by the weight of despair in the wake of a failed relationship. In the middle is their kindly but uncomprehending dad Mirko (veteran character actor Guy Marchand), oscillating between exasperation and pained affection for his two boys, while Marie-France Pisier contributes a cameo of old-fashioned stellar hauteur as their estranged mother. With its 60s-influenced title graphics and obvious debt to François Truffaut in the fizzy chronicling of Jonathan’s sundry amours, it’s a film which cherishes French cinema of the New Wave era, yet at the same time the keenly observed psychodrama exploring Duris’s ongoing tussle with manic depression is so vividly done that it never allows the rest of the picture to surrender to retro-chic, no matter how charming. Can the two styles, and indeed the two brothers, be persuasively reconciled? Honore resists pat answers, and his alert, unpredictable shooting style is a pleasure in itself, as Paris shimmers in the background. Composer Alex Beaupain’s jazzy score will delight fans of Michel Legrand’s ear for a flirtatious piano line. —Marion Doyen.

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