Netflix’s ‘Huge in France’ Is Almost Great

Netflix’s new fish-out-of-water comedy about a European megastar who relocates to Los Angeles is a strange kind of failure.

There are moments during Huge in France when you can perceive what the show might have been—a semi-satirical, semi-screwball comedy about the acute insanity of modern-day fame. The new eight-part Netflix series exists in a meta universe similar to HBO’s Entourage, in that it’s loosely based on the real experiences of an actor and comedian, Gad Elmaleh. The plight of the show’s Gad (he refers to himself in the third person, alors, c’est vraiment Gad) is that he’s a huge star. In France. In real life, this is also true for Elmaleh, who by most metrics is a bona fide celebrity: He has 1.8 million Instagram followers, he once sold out Paris’s Olympia theater for a record-breaking seven consecutive weeks, and his former partner is the granddaughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly. In France, Elmaleh is Jerry Seinfeld. In America, though? If a celebrity lands in a city where no one has ever heard of him, does he make a sound? Continue reading “Netflix’s ‘Huge in France’ Is Almost Great”

“We’ll end up together”: nine years later, the band of “little handkerchiefs” is back

These reunions with the happy band of “Little handkerchiefs”, we waited with some impatience. While fearing that the charm operates less nine years later. And that’s what happens. Blame it on a lazy scenario.

Max (François Cluzet) is spinning bad cotton. Depressed, ruined, he is preparing to sell his holiday home quietly, without talking to his ex (Valerie Bonneton). But for the discretion, it’s missed: it’s right the moment that the band of friends lost sight of for years has chosen to come and celebrate his birthday and seal the reunion. Discomfort.

They are all there, a little older, a little thick for some … Vincent (Benoît Magimel), Marie (Marion Cotillard), Eric (Gilles Lellouche), Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), Isabelle (Pascale Arbillot) … Only Ludo, gone in the first part, misses the call. But Jean Dujardin will still give us a little wink at the end of the film.

All these actors are visibly happy to meet, in the beautiful setting of Cap Ferret, under the direction of their comrade Guillaume Canet. No surprise, Continue reading ““We’ll end up together”: nine years later, the band of “little handkerchiefs” is back”

‘Alice’ Review: SXSW Grand Jury Prize Winner Is Emotional Tale of Desperate Sex Worker

Josephine Mackerras’ microbudget debut is a showcase for actress Emilie Piponnier.

The opening minutes of “Alice” make the case for Emilie Piponnier to be a movie star, and the rest of the movie keeps it up. As the eponymous centerpiece of the 2019 SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner, Piponnier dominates every frame, with a mesmerizing screen presence that pushes the drama well beyond its formulaic premise and visible microbudget constraints. Nevertheless, French director Josephine Mackerras’ understated debut operates on the same intimate wavelength as Piponnier’s simmering desperation — and, eventually, her newfound sense of pride — as a woman who becomes a sex worker to support her child. That premise may not change the world, but “Alice” succeeds as a sturdy window into one woman’s quest to take control of her oppressive world. If a festival breakout narrative counts for anything, it should advance the careers of the women on both sides of the camera.

At first, Alice maintains a cozy domestic life with her husband Francois (Benjamin Bourgois) and their young son. But Francois, a struggling writer, shows hints of dissatisfaction over dinner party conversation, and those seeds come to fruition moments later, when he vanishes with all of the money she’s inherited from her mother. In an abrupt exchange with an unsympathetic loan officer, Alice learns the awful truth: Her husband has burned through their finances on a prostitution addiction, leaving her without the proper funds to pay her mortgage. The bank gives her two weeks to figure out a plan.

Continue reading “‘Alice’ Review: SXSW Grand Jury Prize Winner Is Emotional Tale of Desperate Sex Worker”

Encore! – Film show: ‘The Mystery of Henri Pick’, ‘Who You Think I Am’ & ‘The Journey’

A publishing phenomenon sends two of France’s most popular comic actors on an improvised investigation in Brittany in “The Mystery of Henri Pick”. Film critic Lisa Nesselson tells us why Fabrice Luchini and Camille Cottin manage to pull off an entertaining performance in this adaptation of David Foenkinos’s successful novel.

Source: Encore! – Film show: ‘The Mystery of Henri Pick’, ‘Who You Think I Am’ & ‘The Journey’