Ali suddenly finds himself in charge of Sam, his 5 years old son that he barely knows. Penniless and without friends, he leaves the north of France to seek shelter at his sister’s in Antibes. Even though she and her husband do not have much money, they make a room for them in their garage and take care of Sam.
Ali finds work as a bouncer at a local nightclub. After diffusing a fight one evening, he meets Stephanie a beautiful, self-confident woman. He takes her home and leaves her his number. But she is a princess and he is a poor fellow.
Stephanie is a killer whale trainer at the local Marineland. After a terrible accident one day, Ali gets an unexpected phone call from Stephanie. When he sees her again she is crammed into a wheelchair. She has lost both her legs and her dreams.
Ali will share genuine moments with her, without pity, and help her to live again Continue reading Jacques Audiard – De rouille et d’os AKA Rust & Bone (2012)
Twenty-eight-year-old Tom leads a life that might be termed as criminal. In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of his father, who made his money from dirty, and sometimes brutal, real estate deals. Tom is a pretty hard-boiled guy but also strangely considerate as far as his father is concerned. Somehow he appears to have arrived at a critical juncture in his life when a chance encounter prompts him to take up the piano and become a concert pianist, like his mother. He senses that this might be his final opportunity to take back his life. His piano teacher is a Chinese piano virtuoso who has recently come to live in France. She doesn’t speak a lick of French so music becomes the only language they have in common. Before long, Jacques’ bid to be a better person means that he begins to yearn for true love. But, when he finally has the chance of winning his best friend’s wife, his passion only succeeds in scaring her. And then, one day, his dubious past comes to light… Continue reading Jacques Audiard – De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté AKA The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005)
The plot of this near-noir is very convoluted, but the director keeps a steady pace and there is enough incidental interest to avoid confusion or boredom. When a Hollywood secretary is found murdered, Tom Alder (Janssen), a “finder of missing persons”, is hired to investigate the murder, but quickly sees a link between the secretary and a the long-missing daughter of a wealthy family. Complications involve some colorful characters: Leroy Dane (Brad Dexter), a big movie star, Mrs Delaney (Agnes Moorehead) the missing girl’s mother, Jacques Pleschette (Jacques Aubuchon) a shady figure who tries to hire Tom to find his missing brother. All these actors give top drawer performances, with Moorehead a standout for the way she takes complete control of her single scene with Janssen. Excellent too is Dina Merrill as Nikki (her Tokyo-set flashback with Janssen is quite impressive). Also fine in the cast are Jeanne Crain, Robert Strauss, and William Demarest, doing a convincing turn as a down-and-out drunken newspaper man. Continue reading Joseph M. Newman – Twenty Plus Two (1961)
Malik El Djebena is just 19 when he is sent to prison for six years. Immediately, he falls in with a group of Corsican prisoners who rule the roost. From his experiences with these hardened criminals, Malik learns some invaluable lessons and sets about building his own network…
Du Rififi Chez les Hommes was the full title of Jules Dassin’s classic tough-guy thriller from 1955 – aggro among men. Here, it is more a case of Rififi Among Men and God alike, in a blisteringly powerful prison-gangster picture from the French director Jacques Audiard. It comports itself like a modern classic from the very first frames, instantly hitting its massively confident stride. This is the work of the rarest kind of film-maker, the kind who knows precisely what he is doing and where he is going. The film’s every effect is entirely intentional.
Continue reading Jacques Audiard – Un Prophète AKA A Prophet (2009)