COLCOA is the French film festival in Los Angeles. This year they are showed some great films: some were old, but most were new.
Hidden Diary/Mère et filles – Julie Lopes-Curval’s third full-length feature is definitely her strongest. Thanks to a strong script by Sophie Hiet and strong performances by Marie-Josée Croze and Catherine Deneuve, this was my favorite film that played at the festival.
Henri-George Clouzot’s Inferno – Amazing film about the madness of a director. Henri-Georges Clouzot was making the film and had an unlimited budget, an excellent crew, and top actors, yet the film still went completely wrong and was never released. Serge Bromberg takes the original footage, goes behind the scenes and has actors Jacques Gamblin and Bérénice Bejo act out unfilmed scenes straight from the script. Since I have a keen interest in Clouzot’s work, I was thrilled to see this film. However, if you’d like to know more about this adventurous director who pushed the limits of cinema and was a true auteur, I would suggest you check it out.
Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) – As a Serge Gainsbourg fan, I was both nervous and excited to see this film. Would they botch the story? However, Eric Elmosnino handled the role of Serge wonderfully. Other standouts were Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot and Anna Mouglalis as Juliette Gréco. The characters of Frehel and Boris Vian were a pleasant addition. The only real flaw was the France Gall character. Sara Forestier did not come close to capturing who France Gall was. Also, the script featured the song “Baby Pop” and alluded to “Les Sucettes” a future hit that Serge Gainsbourg wrote for Gall that ended up inadvertently stalling her career for awhile. Perhaps the film should have shown how Gainsbourg’s “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son” made stars out of both him and France Gall when it ended up winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Overall, a solid, entertaining, and artistically driven film.
Love is in the Air/Ma vie en l’air (2005) – Charming comedy from writer Rémi Bezançon who appeared at COLCOA in 2009. Although the star is Vincent Elbaz, who is relatively unknown, the film also features Marion Cotillard who would go on to win an Academy Award after her performance in 2007’s La Vie en Rose. Definitely worth watching.
The French Kissers – Kind of a silly comedy that was gross and wanted to be American. However, appearances by Emmanuelle Devos and Irène Jacob (playing a mom) made it worthwhile.
The Concert/Le Concert – Friday, 4/23/10, I saw Radu Mihăileanu present this film at COLCOA, the French film festival. Harvey Weinstein was in the audience too. It’s a fun movie with a great cast and beautiful music. Apparently, this was one of the bigger events. It may be appealing to most people. Mélanie Laurent pretty much got the whole world’s attention as Shosanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Here, she also gives a great performance and has gorgeous costumes.
Heartbreaker – A fun comedy that has done well in France.
I Am Glad That My Mother is Alive – A pretty nice film by Claude Miller (and his son, Nathan Miller). It reminded me of Claude Chabrol’s A Girl Cut in Two in the way that it was based on a true story and it incorporated actual dialogue spoken in real life overheard by witnesses.
Not in the database:
Tête de Turc
The Villain/Le Vilain
Les deux de la vague (Truffaut and Godard documentary)
Qu’un seul tienne et les autres suivront
Sphinx/Gardiens de l’ordre
Immaculate/Sans laisser de traces
In Their Sleep/Dans ton sommeil
My Father’s Guests/Les invités de mon père