Lean, Tailored, and Ferociously Fit: Jason Statham in Transporter 3

Transporter 3, produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton, is an international product tailored for the American market. Despite its French locales, German cars, and adorably freckled Ukrainian hottie, the hero and villain are both quite American. The titular Transporter is Frank Martin (Jason Statham), a fighter and driver par excellence who earns […]

Kristin Scott Thomas is unshowy but brilliant in Philippe Claudel’s I’ve Loved You So Long

Writer / director Philippe Claudel’s I’ve Loved You So Long is a textbook exercise in the dramatic withholding of narrative information. Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) is released from prison after serving 15 years for an unspecified crime, and is unwillingly housed with her sister Léa (Elsa Zylberstein). Léa is initially her only ally, and her […]

Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard bake a soufflé in Ridley Scott’s A Good Year

Scott returns to France for the first time since his 1977 feature film debut The Duellists for the fluffy soufflé A Good Year. Maximillian Skinner (Russell Crowe) – hardly the most subtle of names – is a self-proclaimed asshole that inherits his uncle’s winemaking estate in Provence. His Uncle Henry (Albert Finney, who also appeared […]

Ridley Scott adapts Joseph Conrad’s The Duellists

Ridley Scott’s first feature film The Duellists (1977) is based on the Joseph Conrad short story “The Duel.” Feraud (Harvey Keitel) and D’Hubert (Keith Carradine), two French soldiers serving under Napoleon, become loyal enemies locked in a lifelong adversarial relationship. D’Hubert, eager to appease his superiors and advance his career, volunteers for a mission in […]

Le fugitif: Guillaume Canet’s Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One)

Tell No One enjoyed a surprisingly wide US theatrical release for a French film without huge English-speaking stars (except for Englishwoman Kristin Scott Thomas, perfectly fluent in French). Roger Ebert rightly compared the tightly crafted thriller with The Fugitive, placing it squarely in Hitchcockian wrong-man-accused territory. Pediatrician Alex Beck (François Cluzet) finds himself the prime […]

Julian Schnabel’s Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Julian Schnabel is an artist-turned-filmmaker, evidently preoccupied with the lives of other artists and writers: Jean-Michel Basquiat in Basquiat, Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls, and now Jean-Dominique Bauby in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Several years ago, this blogger designed Fine Line Features’ official website for Before Night Falls. But frankly, I had […]

Banlieue 13 (District B13)

To the editors of Time that picked District B13 as one of the 10 best films of the year, I can only ask, dude, Que la baise vous pensaient-elles? Yes, granted, it touches on some extremely sensitive and timely issues in a racially and culturally divided Paris, but those moments are bolted-on and heavy-handed, serving […]

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain

One of my favorite films of all time. It’s just such a movie, you know? The same is true of virtually all of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s films; I have such fond memories of seeing Delicatessen on a crappy 16mm print at college, City of Lost Children at the Cambridge Film Festival, and Amélie and A Very […]

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