After The Artist’s five wins at the Oscars this year and a very successful Rendez-vous with French Cinema, this summer will have a true French flavor!
Let’s take a look at our options:
This riveting cop drama directed by actress-turned-director Maiwenn follows the daily grind for the cops of the Police Department's Juvenile Protection Unit. Shockingly realistic and gripping, it feels like a French Wire that resonates long after the screen goes dark. Bonus point for the arresting performance of Joey Starr, the beloved yet controversial member of the rap group NTM.
Now playing at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Suggested reading: Faiza guene, Fatou Diome and Ahmed Djouder
The New York Times describes “Intouchables”, the fourth feature by the writing and directing team of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, as an “old-fashioned feel-good tale, based on a true story, in which a Senegalese-born petty criminal from the projects takes a job as the caretaker of a quadriplegic millionaire and reinvigorates his life” and most definitely hated it. However, it became the second-highest grossing French movie in history, so you might want to play referee on the matter.
Now playing at the Angelika Film Center and at City Cinemas Paris Theatre
Suggested reading: No et moi by Delphine de Vigan
3- Bonjour Tristesse
Nostalgic of the Nouvelle Vague? Bonjour Tristesse is for you!
Now playing at Film forum
Suggested reading: Francoise Sagan
Robert Pattinson, is now all grown-up, and (surprise!) he truly knows how to act. It might be due to the brilliance and wit of the novel by Maupassant that it is based on or, maybe, to the quality of the three leading actresses (Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci). In any case, we won’t even notice that the movie is not in French and dive into the life of the machiavellian ladder-climber Bel-Ami.
Release date: June 8
Suggested reading: Bel-Ami by Maupassant and any other of his novels
5- Farewell my Queen
After having unanimously bashed Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette, the French are delivering their own rendition of their last reigning queen. The young actress, Leah Seydoux, had a breakthrough moment as the enamoured reader of the queen, who is brilliantly played by Diane Kruger. (Also, a loyal customer of Idlewild raved about it after having seen it at the Rendez-vous with French Cinema festival!)
Release date: July 13
Suggested reading: Marie-Antoinette by Stephen Zweig
6- 2 days in New York
Julie Delpy is coming back with the sequel of 2 days in Paris. To be honest, #1 was cringing, but I still have great hopes about #2. A comparative study of the two trailers leaves little doubt about the superiority of NYC!
Release date: August 10
7- Chicken with plums
After having directed the animated adaptation of her autobiographical comic book Persepolis about her childhood in Iran and Austria, Marjane Satrapi moves on to adapt the fictional Chicken with Plums, the tale of a musician in search of the perfect violin. It looks poetic, fresh, and a bit deranged!
Release date: August 17
Suggested reading: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Finally, for those of you who love French films and speak the language but would like to improve it, is offering an eight-week "Film and Conversation" course over this summer! In this fun and innovative class, we'll watch three or four French movies and then discuss them in class. Class discussions will range from the cultural context and the plot and characters to dissecting the grammar and colloquialisms of the dialogue in selected scenes. The class will be taught by Maurice Jean-Baptiste Brochet, a native of Paris who has taught our popular comics and literature courses, and will be conducted entirely in French. The class is recommended for advanced students who can speak and understand fairly well, even if they make a few mistakes.
For more information about this course or our other language class offerings, please visit www.idlewildbooks.com