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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, poignant, happy and very believable.
A real gem of a film. Cleverly crafted to give the feel that Etienne has filmed a year of his life with a camcorder, the viewer is immediately brought into his world. This is the year Etienne hopes to win the Gold Medal in the French National fugure-skating competition, and to 'get laid' and he wants to have it all on record. The whole film, from opening to surprisingly...
Published on 7 Sep 2004

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
It is not often that I am dissapointed with French cinema. In most cases I find their films to be whimsical, exploratory and expertly constructed, with a deeper resonance of emotion and understanding than most Hollywood attempts at the same. 'Ma Vie' however, is nothing like that past experience, and dissapoints horribly.

I am loathed to say 'art for art's...
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by Kurt Clare


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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, poignant, happy and very believable., 7 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
A real gem of a film. Cleverly crafted to give the feel that Etienne has filmed a year of his life with a camcorder, the viewer is immediately brought into his world. This is the year Etienne hopes to win the Gold Medal in the French National fugure-skating competition, and to 'get laid' and he wants to have it all on record. The whole film, from opening to surprisingly abrupt (but fitting) ending is from the camcorder's POV - most often as held by Etienne, who gets into shot when he turns the camera on himself, uses a tripod or hands over to a friend. Take away the credits, ignore the good film and sound quality, and it would be easy to believe you really were watching a home made film. The acting is so natural, especially the embarassment that is shown by some people who are camera shy. My one critisism is not with the film, but the DVD packaging. I did not particularly want a DVD with a cover like this, which is not representative of the film. The US packaging is better.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching & disturbing, 15 Mar 2005
This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
Unless a person has been through the isolation of teenage days trying desperately to come to terms with different feelings towards ones own sex, then this DVD will not be upto expectations. It is one of the most unsettling, lonely coming to terms I have seen protrayed. Jimmie is a natural actor. The parts of the film which are in silence need no script. It is a thought reminding film for those who have come through the period of trying to understand why feelings are different to others around you, and yet quite natural. For those who seek a thrill type film, they will be disappointed. Jimmy is well cast and a besides being an artist to watch on ice, also a remembrance of how difficult it is to accept feelings different from others.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, 17 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
It is not often that I am dissapointed with French cinema. In most cases I find their films to be whimsical, exploratory and expertly constructed, with a deeper resonance of emotion and understanding than most Hollywood attempts at the same. 'Ma Vie' however, is nothing like that past experience, and dissapoints horribly.

I am loathed to say 'art for art's sake' but in this case, I must. The Director has tried to make a film which is innocent, gentle and believing purporting to represent the concerns of adolescence. The construct is around a 16 year old boy who receives his own digital camera for his birthday, and proceeds to record every aspect of his life ad nausea. His story follows the most important people in his life as one would expect, namely his mother, his best friend, a teacher and his step-father. At the same time there is an ever present under-current of self-exploration, which is only revealed late in the film. The direction attempts to show this experience and expression as a 16 year old boy with a camera would, and descends into a shaky at times forced artistic expression. Whilst such direction is fanciful and different, it begs the question.

The cast are surprisingly good, and the young Lucas Bonnifait is a strong presence throughout the film. His step-father whilst saying little has an unnatural obsession with his step-son (ironically there is no formal marriage between him and Etienne's mother) . At moments the audience is disturbed at his actions, although to the Director's credit he does not overtly offend. Similarly, his best friend's inane vanity and lust-filled obsession with girls who he clearly does not respect, makes for an excellent moral comparison with Etienne who is ultimately seeking love and not lust. The fact, that his love is ultimately in the arms of another boy, seems almost an after thought although the audience is made aware of his confusion quite early in the film. Most audiences do not need to be spoon fed, and thankfully French cinema respects this.

Ultimately the film is far too long, and could have been shortened significantly. The constant barrage of inane recordings, make their point early on in the film, and do not need as much repeating. So a 16 year old boy will record the sublime, arbitrary reality of his life.....we get it. Shot after shot of his mother changing, smiling, smoking, walking, working, eating becomes forced and deliberate, and dare I say irritating. The last 30 minutes of the film are the most engaging, as we see Etienne finally find expression. He rages, he descends, he elevates and he finds the love he so desperately seeks, only to have the film end mid-sentence, mid-expression and mid-image. Almost as if the camera died, or the battery expired. If this was intentional, then perhaps it could have been expressed better. I for one was left slightly annoyed, and somewhat unfulfilled. 100 minutes of film, with the fast majority of imagery being repeated themes, leaves one a little dissapointed by such an abrupt end.

In short, I did not enjoy this film in totality. There were moments, albeit brief where I experienced the director's vision and participated in Etienne's life. Most of the time, I was left waiting for the end.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ma Vie, 21 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
Dissapointing,I ended up putting it on fast forward!Why put all that money into making a movie like this when a decent one could be made???
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31 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Life is too short!, 21 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
Don't get me wrong, I love foreign language films - especially French cinema. However, this 'art' film left me cold. Filmed in the style of a video journal this story goes nowhere and soon becomes ridiculous.
The voyeuristic novelty of watching someones filmed diary soon wears very thin, and plot points such as the relationship between the lead characters Mother and her new lover (the teacher) are purely skipped over. After a very mundane middle section the film just starts becoming silly, with several farcical scenes (i.e. pointless ice skating, lover falls over cliff, lead character saved and seduced by randomly passing homosexual man, etc).
If you are looking for great French cinema or a decent gay movie then this is certainly not it. There are far, far better gay films to choose from and countless superior foriegn language films. Save your money and time and avoid this!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There was nothing gay about this film, 1 April 2010
This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
This was a film that had only one seen were you see the main actor in bed and someone jumping into to bed then black screen end of film. There was nothing gay about this film. The only other time any thing came up as given a hint gay was when he asked his best friend can a guy love another guy.

Clearly a conflict in accept his sexuallity but this is listed as being gay and there was nothing and mean nothing in this filming to say this was gay.

Gorden
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ma Vie, 27 Feb 2009
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Mr. Andrew Ford (London,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ma Vie [DVD] (DVD)
Rubbish flim dont like it at all would not recoommend it to no one boaring
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Ma Vie [DVD]
Ma Vie [DVD] by Jacques Martineau (DVD - 2004)
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