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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful French Film
When I first started to watch World Cinema it was the French films that charmed me first, I have watched films from all corners of the world since then however I always enjoy a return to my first (world cinema)love the French films, so this film was a delight as well as a reminder of those earlier days.

This film was France's submission for the 2006 Foreign...
Published on 6 Mar. 2007 by R. DONLAN

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A paean to Paris
Cecile De France plays Jessica, a new arrival in the capital who works as a waitress in a cafe that adjoins a theatre, a concert hall and a prestigious auction house.

In these venues rehearsals and preparations are underway for three contiguous events: the first night of a production of a Feydeau farce starring a successful soap actress who is seeking artistic...
Published on 10 April 2008 by Book Wallah

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful French Film, 6 Mar. 2007
By 
R. DONLAN (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
When I first started to watch World Cinema it was the French films that charmed me first, I have watched films from all corners of the world since then however I always enjoy a return to my first (world cinema)love the French films, so this film was a delight as well as a reminder of those earlier days.

This film was France's submission for the 2006 Foreign Language Oscar, however it did not make it through to the final choice, probably because it is a charming rather than a gritty film.

The location for the film is the theatre district of Paris and we get to meet some of the characters that cross paths at a cafe. The film is mainly seen through the eyes of a young woman who has come to Paris full of tales of the luxury life from her grandmother.

Cecile De France plays the character of the young woman at the centre of the film and she lights it up. In her time at the cafe she comes across a frustrated Concert Pianist who wants to give up the grind of the International Circuit, a Millionare Businessman selling off all his possesions with a gold digger and suspicious/jealous son in close proximity and a popular soap star who wants to impress a visiting American director.

We just sit back and watch these characters ups and downs, played out on the gorgeous backdrop of Paris. I loved it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very French, very fresh, very charming ; an agreeable film, 10 Feb. 2008
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very charming feel-good film - very French too - and gave me a lot of pleasure. It is not a great film, but it makes no attempt to be such ; it is witty, engaging, fresh, very well acted and shot, and a pleasure from start to finish. Jessica, an unpretentious, pretty, good-natured girl with a very attractive gamine quality and a great fondness for her Granny who brought her up, gets a job at a cafe next to a theatre and concert hall. She meets and interacts with an ageing collector, his troubled lecturer son, a manic-depressive actress, the 'concierge' of the concert hall, who is a performer manque, and an international concert pianist. unsure of his future. Their problems are all resolved in one way or another and in the course of this, her life takes a new and welcome turn ; and the film ends very happily with Jessica treating her granny by fulfilling a wish that she always held but was never able to realise. All the performances are good, but particularly Cecile de France in the pivotal role of Jessica. Finally, the film is beautifully paced and structured and there are some wonderful shots of Paris.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Success and Dissatisfaction, 16 Sept. 2011
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
Why did I buy this DVD? Because I saw it at the cinema and thought it to be quirky enough and moving enough to deserve watching again. It's a feel-good movie that spends most of its time feeling bad.

In a quiet corner of central Paris, on the right bank just up from the Trocadero, stands a theatre, a concert hall, and an auction house. Serving all three is the Bar des Theatres. One evening, the theatre has the opening night of a Feydeau farce, the concert hall has a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, and the auction house has the sale of a private collection of works of leading modern artists. It's thus a busy night at the Bar des Theatres.

But the bulk of the movie is spent on the days leading up to this one night and the interaction between the Bar and the leading characters of the three establishments. This interaction is expressed mostly through the offices of the Bar's waitress, Jessica, played by Cecile de France. She is a kind of naïve fairy godmother respectively to the leading actress who is worried about her status as `only' a TV star; to the concert pianist who finds his profession spiritually moribund; and to the seller of the art collection, who seeks a modus vivendi with his cynical son. But Jessica herself also has problems of her own to solve, not least where to sleep and how to make ends meet on her meagre resources.

Faultlessly acted by top French actors, augmented by a major cameo by Sydney Pollack playing (more-or-less) himself as an American producer, this is a subtle feel-good movie; touching rather than mawkish, and never in-your-face. It's no laugh-out-loud comedy either, but has its moments of kind and gentle humour. It's full of wise words, such as those of the aging seller of the art collection who remarks to his son, "There comes a day when time passing becomes time remaining. You see things differently."

The only extra worth mentioning is an intelligent twenty-five-minute `Making of ...' featurette. Here we see scenes being rehearsed and choices being made. The director, Daniele Thompson, remarks how the film is "about success in life and dissatisfaction." That dissatisfaction, she proposes, arises because we want a better seat in the theatre of life, closer to the orchestra, and with a better view of the art that is for sale in the auction. This film helps us judge that perhaps we should be thankful for the chair that we have, for not everyone can have the best seats. So long as ours is sturdy and comfortable, then the life going on around us can be just as interesting and entertaining as watching the main players on the stage.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A paean to Paris, 10 April 2008
This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
Cecile De France plays Jessica, a new arrival in the capital who works as a waitress in a cafe that adjoins a theatre, a concert hall and a prestigious auction house.

In these venues rehearsals and preparations are underway for three contiguous events: the first night of a production of a Feydeau farce starring a successful soap actress who is seeking artistic fulfilment (Valerie Lemercier), a Beethoven recital by an accomplished pianist who finds the conventions of classical recitals too restrictive (Albert Dupontel) and an ageing art connoisseur's (Claude Brasseur) auction of his entire collection.

All of these artistic souls frequent the cafe and Jessica sallies forth between these interlinking storylines and characters, bringing sweetness and light wherever possible.

Despite having some of the trappings of a romantic comedy this is no Gallicised version of a Richard Curtis film. There are weightier matters at hand: the three principal characters have devoted their lives to art but what lives have they got in return? Lermercier has the choice to continue earning easy money in her soap career or make an artistically fulfilling film about Simone de Beauvoir, Brasseur has to decide whether all the art he has amassed should be transformed into lucre and Dupontel wants to stop playing to reserved high society audiences and bring his music to the masses.

Director Daniele Thompson (who wrote the film with her son Christopher) has obviously been inspired by Robert Altman's multi-character pieces and pulls off her homage with brio.

Lazy reviewers (me included) may find it easy to draw parallels with Amelie (Gamine waitress? Check... Luminous shots of Paris? Check... Romantic issues up in the air? Check...) but this is a cooler, more restrained affair.

France (the actress, not the country) is a charming protagonist and the rest of the cast lend able support including Annelise Hesme, who is better known on these shores as the French girl in the Renault ads and Sydney Pollack who adds authority as a Hollywood film director attempting to persuade Lemercier to star in his de Beauvoir biopic.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, Clever French film, 13 Mar. 2007
By 
Mrs. D. L. Tickner "Dee" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
as the ad says - you want to hop on eurostar and go to Paris right away! - Fabulous shots of Paris. Not wholly a flick chic - but no car chases, no violance - just a good quality, witty, clever, sweet? French movie. Each character in the three scenarios having their own stand alone story line and the one character on the sidelines is perfect. shall definately buy to watch again when it comes out on DVD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to go to Paris, 3 April 2012
By 
Mikey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orchestra Seats [DVD] (DVD)
Orchestra Seats is an enjoyable French film that just makes you want to hop on Eurostar and head to Paris. There are some beautiful shots of the city which certainly held my attention to the film.
Orchestra Seats is pretty funny and I probably would watch it again sometime. The story begins as we follow a young French woman following her grandmother's advice to push her way into a job in one of the most luxurious quarters of Paris. She manages to find a job as a waiteess in a cafe that only employs men. Her timing is very good as there are soon to be three events occurring to keep the cafe busy and the owner realises her help may be needed. The events involve a great pianist's recital, an art collector auctioning off his collection and a TV star on her opening night of a new play. Our waitress manages to meet all these people and is more than an ear for their troubles.
Without revealing any more of the plot, the film is definitely worth a watch. It is in French with subtitles in English.
Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this film, 3 Aug. 2012
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This film is uplifting, funny, kind and touching . It's also far more complicated and emotionally layered than it's light-hearted style at first suggests. The story: a young woman from Macon arrives in Paris and takes a job as a waitress. She meets a soap opera actress, a concert pianist, the heir of an industrialist and many others. She is sweet but very smart with special qualities that require full attention. The sub-plots are: love of craft, love of music, love of family, love of work, and of course, love of romance - this is a French film. The editing is superb, the ensemble acting 100%. Each character is nicely judged and played. I love this film. Saw it twice on BBC - the first time, it played in the background and so I missed its nuances. So I watched it last night for a 2nd time. Now I'm buying it to play again whenever I like.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 19 May 2013
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Found myself transported to Paris, Diction perfect, understandable French. Will watch again and again. Enjoyed the characters, particularly enjoyed the music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A heart-warming fantasy, 27 Sept. 2012
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This petit film made me very happy, although the charming heroine and other people depicted in it are too kind, optimistic, energetic, and straightforward to be real locals you will encounter in Paris. I smiled and sobbed when watching it. It is like a well-written short story: light, funny, sentimental but very serious at the core. It will ask you the meaning of life. I highly recommend this for entertainment and for encouragement. Many scenes are taken in beautiful Avenue Montaigne.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lovely piece of work, 9 Oct. 2012
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really enjoyed this film, really calming and fun, and the main character is a kind warm person you wish you could bump into. Nice glimpse into someone elses life and a refreshing change. Makes me want to watch more foreign films.
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Orchestra Seats [DVD]
Orchestra Seats [DVD] by Cecile De France (DVD - 2007)
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