French bad boy director François Ozon, who caused a stir with his controversial first feature Sitcom (1998) and his shorts A Summer Dress (1997) and See the Sea (1997), creates a dark and brooding tale of transgression and sexuality for his second feature outing. Alice (Natacha Régnier) is a bored, spoiled high schooler with a gorgeous body and a sociopathic mind. She persuades one of her suitors, the naive and trusting Luc (Jeremie Renier), to murder another suitor, the handsome, rakish Said (Salim Kechiouche). Read More »
Tag Archives: Jérémie Renier
Philippe Seigner, a charming business school graduate from the French Pyrenees, starts his career in business consulting at the posh Paris seat of McGregor. His first serious task is a delicate one, an audit at the Janson food cans factory in the provinces, which is about to be taken over. As he soon realizes, this will mean sacking about 80 employees, as his boss Hugo Paradis knew from the start. However, his Paris girl friend reproaches him collaborating with ruthless capitalism, as if any of the downsizing could be stopped or mitigated by him bowing out. Nevertheless, as he gets to knew the threatened staff better he considers risking his career when his boss orders him to chose who should go. Meanwhile the factory staff starts realizing what’s about to happening. Read More »
The “elefante blanco” (white elephant) in Pablo Trapero’s eponymous film is the phantasmagorical structure of what was to be Latin America’s biggest hospital, construction of which was approved in 1937 and started in 1938. In line with Argentina’s sociopolitical upheaval, the project was never completed and is now home to thousands of outcasts who live among rubble, rats, pollution, illness, crime, deadly drug lords’ feuds.
Trapero’s Elefante blanco, focusing on the painstaking work of two shanty-town priests and a social worker, is a trip through urban hell. Contrary to the barrage of political harangue we are subjected to on a daily basis, Elefante blanco lays out the bare facts: a Third World country playing welfare state but in reality struggling to stay afloat. No other aborted social project could make such a visible, powerful impact as the elefante blanco, palpable proof that not everyone is given the same possibilities to attain social mobility and think ahead to a better future. Read More »
Plot Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
After learning he has a newborn son, a small-time thief attempts to go straight – but not until his amorality is pushed to its breaking point – in this social-problem drama from writer-directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. Eighteen-year-old Sonia (DÈborah Francois) has just given birth to a baby boy. The baby’s father Bruno (JÈrÈmie Renier) is panhandling in the street when Sonia tracks him down, and he shows little interest in fathering the child, or even providing a roof over the heads of the fledgling family. As the new and inexperienced mother navigates the bleak industrial landscape of the small Belgian town they live in, Bruno falls in with a clandestine group that buys and sells healthy children on the black market. He tragically learns that one avaricious decision, made in an instant, can affect the lives of everyone in his orbit. Read More »
Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in the hands of an unqualified childcare provider.
The Kid with a Bike (French: Le Gamin au vélo) is a 2011 drama film written and directed by the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, starring Cécile de France and Thomas Doret. Set in Seraing, it tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who turns to a woman after his father has abandoned him. The film was produced through companies in Belgium, France and Italy. While it does not deviate from the naturalistic style of the Dardenne brothers’ earlier works, a brighter aesthetic than usual was employed, and the screenplay had a structure inspired by fairytales. Unusually for a film by the directors it also uses music. It premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and won the festival’s Grand Prix. Read More »