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Entries in Francophile (131)

Friday
Oct182019

Review: "Cyrano, My Love" & "By the Grace of God"

by Cláudio Alves

Pity those who live in the shadow of Oscar's champions. Such is the case of two French films from last year which now arrive in American theatres. If they were Hollywood productions, we'd surely be talking about Cyrano, My Love and By the Grace of God as potential contenders. As it stands, they can expect some golden recognition in the shape of the César rather than a little golden man. They must also expect eternal comparisons to more famous movies... 

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Tuesday
Sep172019

French finalists on fire...

by Nathaniel R

Last year's international film Oscar race was one of its all-time most popular years with all of the pictures turning into arthouse hits (that never happens. Usually one is a flop). 2019's competition might be just as exciting. If countries choose well and the Academy follows suit, that is. Spain's Pain & Glory and South Korea's Parasite are the two highest profile international films in the race (both opening in early October in the US) and are likely to be successful in theaters, the former due to the consistent sales of Almodóvar imports and the latter due to its buzz and accessibility as entertainment. The third most high profile contender MIGHT be Portrait of a Lady on Fire from France. But France has yet to choose a film. UPDATE 9/20/19: THEY HAVE CHOSEN "LES MISERABLES"

They have however narrowed it down to three...

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Friday
Jul052019

France and the Oscar Race. Then and Now.

by Nathaniel R

As you've probably heard, France has altered their Oscar submission choice rules a bit. They'll now allow for "special screenings" (i.e. some variation of the common practice here in the US of the "qualifying run") to determine eligibility. In truth this wouldn't be news if it weren't France we were talking about. Most countries already allow some form of this practice so a film can be eligible for awards even if it isn't technically playing for audiences in time.

But France in the past has not allowed this given the country's very strict distribution rules. That's one of the reasons why, for example, that Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) wasn't submitted in its year...

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Friday
May242019

Cannes winds down. What's winning the Palme?

by Nathaniel R

Margot Robbie at Cannes for "Once Upon a Time in..."There are 21 titles competing for the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year. We've already talked about seven titles. Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory (Spain) is a potential prize winner (and a legit Oscar hopeful) and Mati Diop's Atlantique (France/Senegal), and Celine Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France) could be the key films in ensuring prizes to female directors (something Cannes has historically been bad at) since they were both extremely well-received.

In addition to those three potential Palme d'Or or Best Director winners (Cannes most important prizes), Ladj Ly's contemporary French drama Les Misérables and Kleber Mendonça Filho's Brazilian oddity Bacurau are also threats for jury love.  Diao Yinan's The Wild Goose Lake and Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die got decent notices but we don't expect prizes there.  

With Cannes ending this weekend we've run out of time so here are quick notes on responses to the other 14 Competition titles and our predictions after the jump...

COMPETITION TITLES

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Saturday
May182019

Xavier Dolan

by Samantha Craggs

It's been 10 years since Xavier Dolan, age 20, burst out of the gate at the Cannes Film Festival with his first ever movie, I Killed My Mother. It was a raw, imperfect effort. The deeply autobiographical narrative rambled at times. A plethora of shots framed the subject in the middle lower third of the screen, leaving space for blank white walls and reams of extraneous information. But it was a first-hand look at being a queer teenager fighting with his parents in the new millennium. For taste-makers at Cannes, it was more than enough. His movie showed in the Director's Fortnight, and Dolan, a former Québecois child actor who'd never even directed a short film, became the arthouse's youngest rock star. 

We've watched him learn the craft in two-hour intervals ever since. He works at a frantic clip, so he's made eight movies in 10 years. The now 30 year old filmmaker will premiere that eighth feature Matthias et Maxime at Cannes on May 22nd. Love or hate his offerings so far, one thing is guaranteed – this one will look nothing like I Killed My Mother. Let's do a ranking of his movies so far, after the jump... 

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Wednesday
May152019

Tribeca 2019: "White as Snow"

Jason Adams reporting from the Tribeca Film Festival one last time...

The sins of the flesh have always been right there on the surface of Fairy Tales, waiting to be ravaged by sex and by violence, by finger and by claw. Crooked old ladies morph into comely lasses, and ripe red lips are ready to be plucked and plundered. Snow White didn't move in with seven little dudes by mistake -- whatever our imaginations can imagine, whatever wishes our hearts can make, they're all within reach for a price, endless sleep and poisoned apples. Anne Fontaine's White as Snow is just the latest in a long string of movies soft-coring up our princess fantasies...

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