Arnaud Desplechin – La forêt AKA The Forest (2014)

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Based on the play by the russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky. The film adaptation of the Comédie-Française theatre’s spectacle with their actors.
A “vibrantly spontaneous and brutally funny family drama, and a glorious tribute to acting and theater,” according to the Film Society. Continue reading

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Arnaud Desplechin – Un conte de Noël aka A Christmas Tale (2008)

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Criterion wrote:
In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can’t begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that’s equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A Christmas Tale ties it all together in a marvelously messy package.
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Arnaud Desplechin – Jimmy P. (2013)

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At the end of World War II, Jimmy Picard, a Native American Blackfoot who fought in France, is admitted to Topeka Military Hospital in Kansas – an institution specializing in mental illness. Jimmy suffers from numerous symptoms: dizzy spells, temporary blindness, hearing loss… In the absence of any physiological causes, he is diagnosed as schizophrenic. Nevertheless, the hospital management decides to seek the opinion of Georges Devereux, a French anthropologist, psychoanalyst and specialist in Native American culture. Continue reading

Arnaud Desplechin – Comment je me suis disputé… (ma vie sexuelle) aka My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument (1996)

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synopsis – AMG:
In this satiric comedy-drama from France, Paul (Mathieu Amalric) is an assistant professor of philosophy disenchanted with teaching and distracted enough that he can’t (or won’t) finish the dissertation that would allow him to become a full professor. Esther (Emmanuelle Devos) has been his girlfriend for nearly a decade; while he’s no longer happy with the relationship, he has trouble working up the courage to break it off. He’s smitten with Sylvia (Marianne Denicourt), the lover of his best friend Nathan (Emmanuel Salinger); Paul and Sylvia had a brief fling two years ago, and he can’t get her out of his mind. However, once Paul gives Esther her walking papers, he starts chasing after Valerie (Jeanne Balibar), while also keeping his eye on Patricia (Chiara Mastroianni), the girlfriend of his cousin (and roommate) Bob (Thibault de Montalembert). It’s hard to imagine Paul having much time to think about anything else amidst all this romantic tumult, but when Rabier (Michel Vuillermoz), a former friend, gets a top spot in Paul’s department, it leads to an ongoing argument that both adds to and reflects the turmoil of his romantic life. Amalric’s performance earned him a 1997 Cיsar Award as Most Promising Young Actor. — Mark Deming Continue reading

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