Thursday, June 14, 2007

Movie Watch! - Paris, je t'aime

Paris, je t'aime (2006) - Just released in America in May, this movie is for anybody who's in love with Paris. Francophiles like me will enjoy it very much. Those who don't may feel a bit lost. Here are my favorite segments:

- Quais de Seine - written by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha, directed by Gurinder Chadha - It's the story of a teenage boy who helps a Muslim girl in need, much to the guffaw of his pig-headed friends.
- Le Marais - written and directed by Gus Van Sant - Gorgeous, lovely, incredible Gaspard Ulliel is an artist's assistant, who reveals his heart to a stranger, Elias McConnell, in an incredibly charming monologue.
- Loin du 16ème - written and directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas - Cataline Sandino Moreno is Ana, a mother and housekeeper who sees the parallels between the classes.
- Place des Victoires - written and directed by Nobuhiro Suwa - Juliette Binoche is a mother who deals with the loss of her son in a touching portrait of loss.
- Quartier des Enfants Rouges - written and directed by Olivier Assayas - Maggie Gyllenhaal is an American actor in Paris who feels a connection with her drug dealer.
- Faubourg Saint-Denis - written and directed by Tom Tykwer - Natalie Portman's blind Parisian boyfriend recounts their whirlwind of a relationship in his mind.
- 14ème Arrondissement - written and directed by Alexander Payne - Margo Martindale is a mail deliverer from Denver who recounts her transition to Paris as a woman alone in a foreign land.

Some segments lull, but these seven (and a few others) are charming little slivers of a city that looks as romantic as anything imaginable. Even when romance in Paris goes sour, it has the feel of dreamy wonder, like it was meant to happen in a city as wondrous as the one each director presents. It really made me want to go to Paris, really, really badly. Even the bad looks good, dammit! 8/10

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