Movie Reviews by Roberto Di Donato

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2013 French Film Festival Australia

In the House
In the House
Asterix & Obelix in Britain
Asterix & Obelix in Britain
Another Womans Life
Another Womans Life
After May
After May
A Lady in Paris
A Lady in Paris
A Gang Story
A Gang Story

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Louise Wimmer
Louise Wimmer


Poster Augustine - Augustine
DIRECTOR : Alice Winocour
CAST : Vincent Lindon, Soko, Chiara Mastroianni, Olivier Rabourdin, Roxane Duran, Lise Lamétrie
In 19th century Paris, ambitious Professor Charcot (Vincent Lindon) is known as the “Napoleon of the neuroses” at the Pitié-Salpêtriere Hospital. Charcot selects only the most interesting cases to examine in front of fellow doctors at his weekly seminars. When he witnesses Augustine (Soko), a young patient suffering a violent seizure, he takes her as his special project. Augustine gradually becomes the exclusive subject of Charcot’s work and his obsession, putting at risk both her mental stability and his marriage to the wealthy Constance (Chiara Mastroianni).
Poster Camille Rewinds - Camille Redouble
DIRECTOR : Noémie Lvovsky
CAST : Noémie Lvovsky, Samir Guesmi, India Hair, Judith Chemla, Julia Faure
Noémie Lvovsky directs, co-writes and stars as Camille, a woman who is about to lose her husband, Eric (Samir Guesmi), to a younger woman. Camille and Eric were 16 when they fell in love, but now, 25 years later, their marriage is over. Camille’s life takes a strange turn when she faints on New Year’s Eve and is transported back in time, waking up in the 80s to find her parents, girlfriends and Eric treating her like the 16 year-old girl she used to be. Realising that she can make different choices, Camille embraces her second chance, as well as a garish assortment of fashion and hairstyles. But can she avoid the inevitable.
Poster Ernest & Celestine - Ernest et Célestine
DIRECTOR : Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
CAST : Animation
Ernest & Celestine is a beautifully crafted children’s film based on the beloved books by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. It tells the story of Ernest, a grumpy but affable bear who wants to be an artist, and Celestine, a mouse who wants to avoid a dental career! The unlikely friends live in two parallel worlds - the bears above ground and the mice in a subterranean village below. When their improbable friendship and criminal activities are revealed, they must stick together to withstand the disapproval and intolerance from both worlds.
Poster Farewell, My Queen - Les adieux à la Reine
DIRECTOR : Benoît Jacquot
CAST : Léa Seydoux, Diane Kruger, Michel Robin, Virginie Ledoyen, Noémie Lvovsky, Xavier Beauvois
It is 1789 - the eve of the French Revolution in the Court of Versailles. When news of the storming of the Bastille reaches the nobles, they all flee with their servants, fearing for their lives. One of Marie-Antoinette’s devoted ladies-in-waiting stays to be by her Queen’s side, certain that neither will be harmed. History, however, is already in motion.
Poster FEU by Christian Louboutin - FEU par Christian Louboutin
DIRECTOR : Bruno Hullin
CAST : Christian Louboutin, The Crazy Horse Dancers
Christian Louboutin, the celebrated designer behind the world-famous line of red-soled shoes, has teamed up with the legendary French cabaret institution,Crazy Horse Paris, to create FEU by Christian Louboutin. Literally translated as ‘fire’, this filmed version of a live production is a sizzling collection of tableaux, mixing erotic cabaret with music, dance, masterpiece paintings, space-age chic and, of course, some seriously stylish footwear.
Poster Fly Me to the Moon - Un plan parfait
DIRECTOR : Pascal Chaumeil
CAST : Diane Kruger, Dany Boon, Alice Pol, Robert Pagnol, Jonathan Cohen, Etienne Chicot, Damien Bonnard
Isabelle is a 30-something woman with a successful career and a loving boyfriend, but her family is plagued with a curse: every first marriage ends in divorce. So when her long-term boyfriend, Pierre, proposes, there's only one thing to do. Isabelle decides she needs to find a total stranger, marry him and divorce him - all before her actual wedding.
Poster Granny’s Funeral - Adieu Berthe - l’enterrement de mémé
DIRECTOR : Bruno Podalydès
CAST : Denis Podalydès, Valérie Lemercier, Michel Robin, Pierre Arditi, Bruno Podalydès
Poor Armand is going through a mid-life crisis. He’s a pharmacist but his passion is for magic. He’s torn between his wife, He´le`ne, and his mistress, Alix. He can’t talk to his children and he can’t get away from his mother-in-law. When his grandmother dies, Armand is faced with one more dilemma – burial or cremation – and he finally is pushed over the edge.
Poster Happiness Never Comes Alone - Un bonheur n’arrive jamais seul
DIRECTOR : James Huth
CAST : Sophie Marceau, Gad Elmaleh, Maurice Barthélémy, François Berléand, Michaël Abiteboul
Sacha (Gad Elmaleh) loves partying and seducing pretty girls. His mantra is “no alarm clock, no wedding ring, no taxes.” Charlotte (Sophie Marceau) has two ex-husbands, three children and a career. When they meet they are completely incompatible and instantly smitten, but will their relationship survive demanding offspring and Charlotte’s wealthy ex-husband who just happens to be Sacha’s boss? Happiness, it seems, never comes without complications.
Poster Haute Cuisine - Les Saveurs du Palais
DIRECTOR : Christian Vincent
CAST : Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d’Ormesson, Hippolyte Girardot, Arly Jover
The world of Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot), a successful chef in Périgord, is tipped upside down when she is appointed as personal cook for the President at the Elysée Palace. At first she faces resentment and resistance from the kitchen staff, but the spirited Hortense gradually wins them over. However, she soon discovers that the real heat is not in the kitchen, but in the halls of the Palace with constant battles for influence over the Chief of State.
Poster In a Rush - Au galop
DIRECTOR : Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
CAST : Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Valentina Cervi, Marthe Keller, Denis Podalydès, Xavier Beauvois, Alice de Lencquesaing
The film is narrated by a divorced writer, Paul (de Lencquesaing), who tells the story of his encounter with Ada (Valentina Cervi). Ada has a settled life with a partner and a daughter, but when she meets the wry and brooding Paul they embark on an affair. Meanwhile Paul’s daughter is having her own romantic struggles and his mother has become unpredictable following the death of her husband.
Poster Journal de France - Journal de France
DIRECTOR : Raymond Depardon, Claudine Nougaret
CAST : Documentary
This comprehensive career retrospective takes a unique look at the working life of Depardon and the evocative images from his past and present. As the title suggests, it is also a fascinating and beautiful vision of France itself. From the country’s cafes and highways to its factories and forests, this is a chance to see France again through the eyes of a master.
Poster Laurence Anyways - Laurence anyways
DIRECTOR : Xavier Dolan
CAST : Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri, Sophie Faucher
Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and Fred (Suzanne Clément) love each other passionately. It seems that nothing can come between them – until Laurence confesses that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body. Their relationship collapses under the pressure of family and society, but they are drawn back to each other and the love they share with all its beauty and pain. Laurence’s awkward transformation is both heartbreaking and confronting to those around him, but he stumbles into his new identity with dignity and class.
Poster Leadersheep - Tous au Larzac
DIRECTOR : Christian Rouaud
CAST : Pierre Bonnefous, José Bové, Christiane Burguière, Pierre Burguière, Michel Courtin
One day in October 1971, the head of the French Defense Department, Michel Debré, announced he was going to enlarge the Larzac military camp from 3,000 to14,000 hectares. ‘We’ve chosen the Larzac, because it’s an abandoned region,’ he said. What the government didn’t count on were the farmers of Larzac. Previously considering themselves isolated and apolitical, they rallied together and fought the system for ten years to keep their land.
Poster Looking for Hortense - Cherchez Hortense
DIRECTOR : Pascal Bonitzer
CAST : Jean-Pierre Bacri, Isabelle Carré, Kristin Scott Thomas, Claude Rich, Marin Orcand Tourres
When Iva asks Damien to speak to his father on behalf of a woman facing deportation, he is loath to ask for help, but when Damien meets the lovely Zorica (Isabelle Carré), the legalities quickly become more personal. Through Zorica, Damien discovers a long forgotten desire and a way to finally grow up.
Poster Louise Wimmer - Louise Wimmer
DIRECTOR : Cyril Mennegun
CAST : Corinne Masiero, Jérôme Kircher, Anne Benoît, Marie Kremer, Jean-Marc Roulot
The comfortable life of middle-aged Louise Wimmer has been turned upside down. Separated and drowning in debt, she now finds herself homeless, forced to sleep in her car and barely scraping together money for food from shift work as a hotel maid. Preferring to keep to herself, Louise must somehow build a new life on her own - even if it means accepting the help of others.
Poster Meet Me in Real Life - Chercher le garçon
DIRECTOR : Dorothée Sebbagh
CAST : Sophie Cattani, Moussa Maaskri, Gérard Dubouche, Franck Libert, Frédéric Restagno
Ten years is too long to be single, so one New Year’s Eve, 35 year-old Emilie decides to take the plunge into the world of online dating. With some courage from a bottle of champagne, she signs up to a website called Meet Me, determined to find love in the year ahead.
Poster Mobile Home - Mobile Home
DIRECTOR : François Pirot
CAST : Arthur Dupont, Guillaume Gouix, Jackie Berroyer, Jean-Paul Bonnaire, Claudine Pelletier
Simon and Julien are two twentysomething Belgians who just want to escape the daily grind. They hit the open road in a mobile home with dreams of sunsets, romance and adventure. However in the face of unexpected practicalities, they soon find that getting away from it all is harder than they thought.
Poster On Air - Parlez-moi de vous
DIRECTOR : Pierre Pinaud
CAST : Karin Viard, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Nadia Barentin, Patrick Fierry, Catherine Hosmalin
Mélina has the most famous voice in France. The 40 year-old host of an evening radio show dispenses frank and funny advice to listeners to help fix the problems in their lives - but during the day she lives anonymously and avoids contact with everyone. Abandoned as a child, Mélina now decides to seek out her mother and finds her living on the outskirts of the city.
Poster Our Children - A perdre la raison
DIRECTOR : Joachim Lafosse
CAST : Niels Arestrup, Tahar Rahim, Emilie Dequenne, Baya Belal, Stéphane Bissot
Based on a real life incident in Belgium, the film begins with Murielle (Emilie Dequenne) and Mounir (Tahar Rahim) falling in love. Mounir lives with the wealthy Dr Pinget (Niels Arestrup, You Will Be My Son), and at first Murielle is happy to move into their home as well. As child after child is born, the young couple becomes more dependent on Dr Pinget, and Murielle begins to suffocate under his influence and her workload as mother and live-in maid to the two men. The walls close in around her and Murielle’s grip on reality begins to falter.
Poster Pauline Detective - Pauline détective
DIRECTOR : Marc Fitoussi
CAST : Sandrine Kiberlain, Audrey Lamy, Claudio Santamaria, Antoine Chappey, Anne Benoît, Michèle Moretti
In this delightfully frothy film, Sandrine Kiberlain stars as Pauline, the workaholic editor of a magazine that covers grisly crimes. Pauline’s life is micromanaged to perfection, but when her boyfriend dumps her, she crumbles. The solution? Her sister, Jeanne (Audrey Lamy, All That Glitters from the 2011 Alliance Française French Film Festival), whisks Pauline off to the Italian Riviera hoping that sunshine will cure a broken heart.
Poster Renoir - Renoir
DIRECTOR : Gilles Bourdos
CAST : Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Romane Bohringer
It is 1915. The eminent painter Auguste Renoir is in his twilight years, tormented by the loss of his wife and the arthritic pains of old age. When young Andrée enters his life, the grand old artist finds his last model a source of renewed inspiration. At the same time, the painter’s son, future film maker Jean Renoir, returns home to convalesce after being wounded in action. Jean falls in love with the wild and beautiful Andrée against the wishes of his father.
Poster Sister - L’enfant d’en haut
DIRECTOR : Ursula Meier
CAST : Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Jean-François Stévenin, Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson
12-year-old Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) lives with his restless older sister Louise (Seydoux) at the base of the Swiss Alps. Every day he takes the cable car to the ski resorts above to pilfer from rich tourists, while Louise drifts through a series of part-time jobs and promiscuity, sometimes disappearing for days on end. In her absence, Simon forges a strong bond with a wealthy tourist (Gillian Anderson), and his fragile relationship with his sister fractures into profoundly moving new territory.
Poster Superstar - Superstar
DIRECTOR : Xavier Giannoli
CAST : Kad Merad, Cécile de France, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Ben, Alberto Sorbelli
Martin Kazinsky (Kad Merad from The Italian and Welcome To The Sticks) is a balding, middle-aged bachelor living an ordinary life. Entrenched in the daily grind of the common man, Martin’s world is thrown into chaos when he wakes up one day to find that he is incredibly famous. People smile at him on the subway, take his photo, ask for his autograph and follow his every move. Fleur (Cécile de France from the 2012 Festival’s Butterfly Kiss), an ambitious TV journalist, helps Martin adapt to new fame and shelters him from his mob of fans.
Poster The Cherry on the Cake - La cerise sur le gâteau
DIRECTOR : Laura Morante
CAST : Laura Morante, Isabelle Carré, Pascal Elbe, Samir Guesmi, Patrice Thibaud
When Amanda (Laura Morante) connects with Antoine (Pascal Elbe) at a New Year’s Eve party and begins seeing him regularly, her friends are delighted. That is until they realise Amanda mistakenly believes Antoine to be gay. Amanda’s friends conspire to keep her in the dark until Antoine is so important to her that he can safely reveal his love without her bolting.