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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (23) - Books (2)

Manon of the Spring review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 01:06 (A review of Manon of the Spring)

Yves Montand as an envious and intriguing old scoundrel for whom only money and possession matter; that was quite unexpected.
The film is a masterpiece that finally has a satisfying moral: the bastard, who thinks only of taking advantage of others without pity, will get the terrible punishment he deserves when he finds out who he killed! Ditto for his "Galinette" who will become madly in love with Manon, the daughter of the man they murdered in various ways, his grandfather and him; Manon who, knowing the whole truth, will reject him like a bad dog. "Galinette" will only have to draw the consequences of his crimes.
Note that initially, it was Michel Colucci (Coluche) who had been approached for the role that Daniel Auteuil plays masterfully.
Nice "skewer" of actors, except Hippolyte Giradot who for me does not have the talent among these giants.


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Le Cercle rouge review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 12:47 (A review of Le Cercle rouge)

Bourvil used in a counter-intuitive role. This role of ruthless cop who never smiles suits him like "a cigar in a pipe..." Bourvil was an actor, yes, but only humorous. Only the film "La traversée de Paris" with Jean Gabin, as an art painter and Louis de Funès as a black market profiteer can suit such an actor. I didn't like it at all! And it's the only film with Bourvil that I don't like.
Imagine Benny Hill in the role of Quasimodo in "Notre Dame de Paris"... For me, it's the same thing. Bourvil was absolutely not a dramatic actor.

Melville "put his finger in his eye up to his shoulder blade..."


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Le President review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 11:24 (A review of Le President)

Aged 73 and in ill-health, a former prime minister of France, the widower Émile Beaufort, spends his days in his country house near Evreux dictating his memoirs to his secretary. He gets to the point, some twenty years earlier, when he had to devalue the currency. After secretly meeting the governor of the central bank and the minister of finance, he agreed to make the announcement one Monday. That morning, huge currency speculation broke out and Beaufort realised only one other person knew of the plan. This was Philippe Chalamont, the head of his private office, whose father-in-law was a banker. He made Chalamont write out and sign a confession, which he has kept ever since.

In his last term as prime minister, he was a passionate advocate of European union, seeing it as a healing of the hatreds which had torn the continent apart. His most persuasive opponent turned out to be Chalamont, by then in Parliament, who argued it would be bad for French business. In disgust at this petty-minded and sectional approach, Beaufort resigned and gave up politics.

Chalamont has now been asked to form a government and Beaufort summons him to Evreux that evening. Before his enemy turns up, he removes the confession from its hiding place, puts it in his pocket and dozes off in front of the fire. He wakes up to find his secretary searching the room and, confronted, she admits she was bribed to find the incriminating document. Beaufort burns it and waits. When shown in, Chalamont opens with a spiel about relying in his new post on the advice of Beaufort, whom he has always admired and trusted, and how he too now believes in European unity. Beaufort is not fooled, preferring France to have a new prime minister who is not a crook and a liar, so he threatens to divulge the currency incident to the media. Next morning, the news is that Chalamont has declined to form a new government.

For me, it's one of Jean Gabin's greatest roles, along with the one he plays in "Les Grandes Familles".


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Les Vieux de la Vieille review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 11:10 (A review of Les Vieux de la Vieille)

Retired from the SNCF, Baptiste Talon returns to Vendée in his native village of Tioune to find two old friends there: Jean-Marie Péjat and Blaise Poulossière. He tells them that he has decided to go to the Gouyette hospice. Jean-Marie Péjat, cycle repairer and old bachelor, decides to accompany him following an incident during a ball at the Fête aux Escargots where he realized that he was no longer very young. Blaise Poulossière, a former pig breeder living in his family now led with an iron fist by his son, also decides to join them.

And here are the three friends on the road with their bags and their basket of "pinard" (wine), for a trip punctuated by many adventures. But, once at their destination, disappointed by the austere atmosphere that reigns in the hospice run by sisters, they have no other plan than to return to the village. Having succeeded in fleeing Gouyette, they return to the village but are sharply lectured by the mayor who nevertheless accepts their return on the condition of being wise. How long will these incorrigible ganaches always on the lookout for a good joke be wise?

A hilarious comedy with three movie monsters united; enough to spend a pleasant moment.
Gabin and Fresnay had already played together in "La grande illusion" (1937).


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Le père tranquille review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 10:51 (A review of Le père tranquille)

In France during the Second World War, under the Nazi occupation, Édouard Martin, who has all the appearance of a "quiet father", is an important leader of the resistance without his family's knowledge. He is assisted by Simon and Pelletier who is secretly in love with his daughter Monique. She discovers her father's activities and sees the birth of her love for Pelletier. While an action on the neighboring factory is being prepared, the young Pierre Martin flees the house to join the maquis. To keep his family and neighbors away from the bombardment of the factory, Édouard Martin organizes the engagement of Pelletier and his daughter in town, which alerts the German police who arrest him. Wounded but saved by the guerrillas, the quiet father is proudly recognized by his son.

This story is taken from real events, which took place in the town of Woippy in Moselle, where the quiet father, Jean Ernest Kempnich, a horticulturist by profession, resisted the Nazis. The film is supposed to take place in Confolens and Angoulême, but in reality the exteriors were shot in Olonne-sur-Mer (where the "quiet father's house" still exists, as we see it in the film ) and Les Sables d'Olonne in the spring of 1946, the interiors being produced at the Radio-Cinéma Des Buttes Chaumont studio in Paris.

Noël Noël is equal to himself, a very great actor! The "race" of actors that we no longer do... I believe that the rating given by the members is quite severe for this excellent film and its incomparable actors, especially for Noël Noël who co-directs in addition to playing the main role.

But of course that only engages me.



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Le septième juré review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 10:36 (A review of Le septième juré)

On a hot Sunday in September, Grégoire Duval, an uneventful pharmacist from the small town of Pontarlier, walks along the banks of a local lake. He sees a pretty young woman sunbathing, topless. Giving in to a sudden impulse, he approaches and throws himself on her to kiss her. This screams; he strangles her very quickly.

The young woman's lover, Sylvain Sautral, a dull young man of modest origins, is accused of the murder, then charged and tried. Duval, the culprit of the murder, is appointed juror to the assizes which judge the young Sautral. Duval intervened many times during the trial to clarify the circumstances of the crime, allowing the acquittal of Sautral.

But the notables of the city do not consider that the acquittal constitutes a sufficient reason to exonerate Sautral; the young couple was known for their libertinism, which shocked the good provincial society which found itself in a very bourgeois café in the center of the city. The pharmacist Duval is therefore forced to give himself up in order to remove suspicion.

Yet no one wants to condemn him: perhaps everyone knew, refusing to judge one of their own. Even Sautral will refuse to face the truth; while trying to stop him from committing suicide, Duval kills him. To ward off the scandal, the superintendent and Duval's wife have him locked up in an asylum. The pharmacist finally accepts this decision, being certain of never wanting to come out of this imprisonment which fulfills his desire for punishment. (source: wikipedia)


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Buffet Froid review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 10:27 (A review of Buffet Froid )

What great talent wasted in this film! I saw this film only once because it brings together "monsters" of French cinema, but I hate the kind of films that Bertrand Blier (Bernard's son) makes.
I consider the cinema as an entertainment (divertissement) or even as a means of making known the History or the mores of the people; humor is my favorite cinema; on the other hand, I don't like "psychological" cinema at all, which has no meaning for me. (Idem for Goddart, Truffaut, etc.) Bernard Blier is employed here in a genre that absolutely does not suit him. Like Depardieu, he is a real actor, complete, as comfortable in comedy as in tragic roles ("Les tontons flingueurs", "Quai des Orfèvres", for example.


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The Girl from Paris review

Posted : 1 week, 5 days ago on 7 August 2022 10:12 (A review of The Girl from Paris)

The film is inspired by a true story, that of Angélique Doucet, a resident of Châtelus in the Vercors. Sandrine is a computer trainer in the Paris region. But she can't stand her life and decides to devote herself to agriculture. After a training, she arrives in the Vercors massif to take care of a farm that she wants to buy from the old grumpy Adrien. Their characters will make "sparks." (source: Wikipedia)

In conclusion, it's a beautiful story that demonstrates that friendship is not a question of generations.
A very beautiful film shot in one of the most beautiful regions of France, the Vercors.

Personally, I watched it several times, always with the same pleasure.


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The Three Musketeers review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 2 June 2022 07:42 (A review of The Three Musketeers)

The story of the three musketeers continues with "20 years later" and "The Vicomte de Bragelonne", who is the son of Athos. It is actually a trilogy that ends with the death of D'Artagnan at the siege of Maastricht. (Netherlands) Aramis is the sole survivor of the Musketeers at the end.


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Les Grands romans d'Alexandre Dumas, Tome 1 : Mémoires d'un médecin : Joseph Balsamo review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 2 June 2022 07:34 (A review of Les Grands romans d'Alexandre Dumas, Tome 1 : Mémoires d'un médecin : Joseph Balsamo)

"Joseph Balsamo" is the first part of the long novel by Alexandre Dumas father entitled "Memoirs of a doctor" (Mémoires d'un médecin). This book then includes "The Queen's necklace" (Le collier de la reine), "Ange Pitou", "The Countess of Charny" (La comtesse de Charny).
Some believe that "The Knight of the Red House" (Le chevalier de Maison Rouge) is the continuation and end of the novel. The main characters of "Memoirs of a doctor" disappear except Queen Marie-Antoinette. I personally tend to consider "La Comtesse de Charny" to be the end of the novel.


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