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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Je t'aime!
Paris is a city of light, lovers, art and beauty, and it's been immortalized in paintings, music and fantasy throughout the centuries.

But you've probably never seen so many facets of this city before. "Paris, Je T'aime" explores all the sides of the city in in eighteen very brief films, all set in various arrondissements of Paris, and directed by some...
Published on 29 July 2008 by E. A Solinas

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wheat and the Chaff
Ideal, I thought. Too late at night to start watching a whole film, I'll just see two or three of these instead. But, just like biscuits, where you can't have just one, I ended up eating the whole packet. More than two hours later (documentary and trailer included) I was still there, so be warned.

But being addictive isn't the same as being good. A few of these...
Published on 29 Nov. 2009 by Jonathan Posner


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Je t'aime!, 29 July 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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Paris is a city of light, lovers, art and beauty, and it's been immortalized in paintings, music and fantasy throughout the centuries.

But you've probably never seen so many facets of this city before. "Paris, Je T'aime" explores all the sides of the city in in eighteen very brief films, all set in various arrondissements of Paris, and directed by some brilliantly underrated directors with widely-ranging casts of stars both great and small. And all of these films seem to be about love -- often it's a person, but each one is also an ode to Paris itself.

A somewhat lonely Denver mailwoman (Margo Martindale) makes her first trip to Paris, and recounts how "I fell in love with Paris, and Paris fell in love with me" as she gets acquainted with France. A mime spreads colour and mischief on his way to love. Two struggle with love at a bar. A medic learns that a romantically-minded dying man is in love with her, and seeking her out inadvertently led to his death at the hands of a racist gang.

A young boy leaves his misogynistic pals behind, to seek love with a young Muslim girl. A pair of British people visit the tomb of Oscar Wilde in Pere-Lachaise, an American actress falls for her drug dealer, and a young nanny's dismal living conditions are a stark contrast to that of the people she works for. All these -- and more -- are intertwined gently in the finale.

But two stand out especially. Tom Tykwer's includes a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) receiving a call from his American actress girlfriend (Natalie Portman). She tells him, "Our spring was wonderful but summer is over now and we missed out on autumn... our love fell asleep, and the snow took it by surprise." In his sorrow, he thinks back to how they met, and how their relationship continued... and gets a surprise.

And Vincenzo Natali turns in a bloody, gothic love story. A young American tourist (Elijah Wood) is walking alone at night, when he steps in a pool of blood. He follows the blood to where a beautiful vampire (Olga Kurylenko) is slurping someone to death -- only to have a sudden attraction bloom up between them. When he has a fall, what will happen?

"Paris Je T'aime" has it all -- comedy, tragedy, romance, racial tension, religion, vampires, sunlit vacations, glamour and cliches, all of them blooming in the middle of Paris' sunny streets. Okay, there's the occasional dud -- "Tuileries," about an American tourist by the Coen Bros., is just lame. But since all the directors are given only about five minutes, most of them are tiny, polished gems without any extraneous material.

And you can expect the directors to stretch their limits -- Natali's is colourless (except for blood) and eerie, Gurinder Chadha's is shyly sweet and sunny, Richard LaGravenese's is adorable, Craven's is syrupy, and Tykwer's is a delicate web of camera tricks and blurred glimpses. Sylvain Chomet even charms us with mimes zooming through the streets. And each brings another dimension of Paris to life, from lush green parks to bars to the Eiffel Tower itself.

And the acting is just as great -- the great Juliette Binoche, Seydou Boro, Catalina Moreno, Marianne Faithfull, Fanny Ardant, Gérard Depardieu, and the adorable Melchior Beslon. Martindale deserves special praise for her sweetly realistic portrayal of an American tourist, and Portman is brilliantly vibrant as a girl who yells a lot. And Elijah Wood turns out a brilliant performance in total silence, managing to convey fear, mischief, eroticism and love.

Unlike many movies, which are getting the deluxe treatment in blu-ray, "Paris Je T'aime" seems to be pretty bare-bones. Aside from the usual previews and subtitling, it has a making-of featurette and... that's it. In other words, don't expect the wealth of extras from the two-disc edition, because as far as I can tell they are nowhere to be found.

"Paris Je T'aime" is a collection of little gems, with the occasional dull pebble thrown in -- brilliant directors, emotionally charged stories, and great acting. Enchanté!
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Je t'aime, 29 Aug. 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
Paris is a city of light, lovers, art and beauty. And "Paris, Je T'aime" explores all the sides of the city in in eighteen brief fiolms, all set in various arrondissements of Paris, and directed by some brilliantly underrated directors. And they seem to be about love -- often it's a person, but each one is also an ode to Paris itself.

A somewhat lonely Denver mailwoman (Margo Martindale) makes her first trip to Paris, and recounts how "I fell in love with Paris, and Paris fell in love with me." A mime spreads colour and mischief on his way to love. Two strangers fall in love in a bar. A medic learns that a dying man is in love with her, and seeking her out inadvertantly led to his death at the hands of a racist gang.

A young boy leaves his misogynistic pals behind, to seek love with a young Muslim girl. A pair of British people visit the tomb of Oscar Wilde in Pere-Lachaise, an American actress falls for her drug dealer, and a young nanny's dismal living conditions are a stark contrast to that of the people she works for. All these -- and more -- are intertwined gently in the finale.

But two stand out especially. Tom Tykwer's includes a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) receiving a call from his American actress girlfriend (Natalie Portman). She tells him, "Our spring was wonderful but summer is over now and we missed out on autumn... our love fell asleep, and the snow took it by surprise." In his sorrow, he thinks back to how they met, and how their relationship continued... and gets a surprise.

And Vincenzo Natali turns in a bloody, gothic love story. A young American tourist (Elijah Wood) is walking alone at night, when he steps in a pool of blood. He follows the blood to where a beautiful vampire (Olga Kurylenko) is slurping someone to death -- only to have a sudden attraction bloom up between them. When he has a fall, what will happen?

"Paris Je T'aime" has it all -- comedy, tragedy, romance, racial tension, religion, vampires, sunlit vacations, glamour and cliches. Okay, there's the occasional dud -- "Tuileries," about an American tourist by the Coen Bros., is just lame. But since all the directors are given only about five minutes, most of them are tiny, polished gems without any extraneous material.

Natali's is colourless (except for blood) and eerie, Gurinder Chadha's is shyly sweet and sunny, Richard LaGravenese's is adorable, Craven's is syrupy, and Tykwer's is a delicate web of camera tricks and blurred glimpses. Sylvain Chomet even charms us with mimes zooming through the streets. And each brings another dimension of Paris to life, from lush green parks to bars to the Eiffel Tower itself.

And the acting is just as great -- the great Juliette Binoche, Seydou Boro, Catalina Moreno, Marianne Faithfull, Fanny Ardant, Gérard Depardieu, and the adorable Melchior Beslon. Martindale deserves special praise for her sweetly realistic portrayal of an American tourist, and Portman is brilliantly vibrant as a girl who yells a lot. And Elijah Wood turns out a brilliant performance in total silence, managing to convey fear, mischief, eroticism and love.

"Paris Je T'aime" is a collection of little gems, with the occasional dull pebble thrown in -- brilliant directors, emotionally charged stories, and great acting. Enchanté!
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2007: in a year of bad films, suddenly is 18 good films in one...., 3 Nov. 2007
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This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
I really can't recommend this collection of shorts highly enough! I think the previous reviewer did a great job of outlining the nature of the material, I would only echo the thoughts regarding quality of direction, the beauty of the cinematography, impressive acting and tight scripting. I'd also agree that there are maybe 2 duds in there, but out of 18, that's not bad going. Amongst the most poignant I found Oliver Schmidt's Place des Fetes moving to the point of tears, and Tour Eiffel by Sylain Chomet would bring an indecent smile to even the most po-faced individual. Therein lies the beauty of the film, like the city in which it is framed, it has the ability to elicit the full gamut of human emotions through its sheer beauty. A wonderful collection, I see that they are planning the release to coincide just before Valentine's Day, and whilst that might be a cynical commercialisation of the concept of love, these films certainly are not.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We'll Always have Paris, 24 Nov. 2007
By 
MICHAEL ACUNA (Southern California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
Directed by a slew of the very best directors (Alfonso Cuaron, The Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne to name a few), "Paris Je t'aime" is a mixed bag of short vignettes about the who's, the why's and the wherefore's of love set in the City of Love: Paris.
As is usually the case in this type of enterprise, the directors with the best scripts and the best technique and vision come off the best. The amazing thing is that producers Emmanuel Benbihy and Claudie Ossard have double-handedly breathed new life in what was thought of as a pretty much dead, at least in its commercial art form entity
...the short film, by assembling 18 films made by 21 directors.
In one of the best and most effective and affecting, "Bastille," a man (Sergio Castellito) on the verge of leaving his wife (Miranda Richardson) for his mistress learns that the wife is terminally ill and decides to stay with her. The main character's wall-to-wall stream-of-consciousness takes us through the whole story in voice-over: "by acting like I was in love, I fell in love with my wife again."
In "14ème Arrondissement," directed by Alexander Payne, a middle-aged American mail carrier from Denver, who diligently studied French as she prepared for the trip of a lifetime to Paris, walks around the city sharing her impressions in voice-over. She talks about her lonely life, the beautiful scenery, her happiness at being in Paris but her sadness at having to experience it alone. But, sitting in a Paris park one day she experiences a sudden epiphany: a life affirming and life changing epiphany that she will without a doubt take home with her to Denver.
Acting-wise, along with those mentioned above, Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands, Gaspard Ulliel, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, and Fanny Ardant...organic, deeply committed actors all make the very best of their short but sweet appearances.
Like its literary twin, the short story, the short film has very little time to make an impression and impact and though there are a couple of miss-steps presented here, "Paris Je T'aime" is as a whole a very beautiful, very cohesive, effective and blissfully thoughtful film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film about love & life in the world's most romantic city, 9 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
--the film--
In Paris Je T'aime, celebrated directors from around the world, including the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Gurinder Chadha, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Alexander Payne and Olivier Assayas, have come together to portray Paris in a way never before imagined.
An outstanding host of actors including Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Fanny Ardant, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte, Bob Hoskins, Juliette Binoche, Emily Mortimer, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Rufus Sewell, Barbet Schroeder, Ludivine Sagnier, Gena Rowlands, Miranda Richardson and Steve Buscemi, grace these vignettes with their larger-than-life personas. Their performances add even deeper resonance to this affectionate love letter to one of the world's most transcendent cities.
Paris, Je T'aime tells stories of love from the City of Love. Eighteen renowned filmmakers have created their own vignette based in different areas of Paris to form a collection of short films which will embrace you to fall in love with the world's most romantic city
what can I say?
Absolutely fantastic. Gave a beautifully crafted view of a whole city in a variety of ways. The uniqueness of the individual stories made this film in to something different,it is a series of mini films You'll go through many emotions - laughing at some of the films, get a lump in your throat, smile, admire, feel romantic and fall in love with a few of the mini-films. Yes, not all the films are perfect but everyone has something to be admired - the direction, the lighting, the sound track, the script, the acting and of course, the glorious Paris backdrop.
The collaborative effort of 22 high caliber directors amount to a superb visual compliment .
each one of them leave their mark with a gold-plated touch to the silver screen.
this is directing at its finest!
--------------------------------
Directed by
Olivier Assayas (segment "Quartier des Enfants Rouges")
Frédéric Auburtin (segment "Quartier Latin") (transitions)
Emmanuel Benbihy (transitions)
Gurinder Chadha (segment "Quais de Seine")
Sylvain Chomet (segment "Tour Eiffel")
Ethan Coen (segment "Tuileries")
Joel Coen (segment "Tuileries")
Isabel Coixet (segment "Bastille")
Wes Craven (segment "Pere-Lachaise")
Alfonso Cuarón (segment "Parc Monceau") (as Alfonso Cuaron)
Gérard Depardieu (segment "Quartier Latin")
Christopher Doyle (segment "Porte de Choisy")
Richard LaGravenese (segment "Pigalle")
Vincenzo Natali (segment "Quartier de la Madeleine")
Alexander Payne (segment "14e arrondissement")
Bruno Podalydès (segment "Montmartre") (as Bruno Podalydes)
Walter Salles (segment "Loin du 16e")
Oliver Schmitz (segment "Place des Fetes")
Nobuhiro Suwa (segment "Place des Victoires")
Daniela Thomas (segment "Loin du 16e")
Tom Tykwer (segment "Faubourg Saint-Denis")
Gus Van Sant (segment "Le Marais")
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic odes to Paris, 14 July 2008
By 
Lleu Christopher (Hudson Valley, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
I am not usually a fan of short films, but Paris Je T'aime is a surprisingly good collection of *very* short (about five minutes each!) films about life in Paris. There are eighteen films in all, and, predictably enough, some are better than others. Yet the overall quality was very good, and a few were outstanding. Most of them have something to do with romance or love, but other than that the collection is diverse. There is comedy, tragedy and even horror. Most of these films manage to actually tell complete stories in a mere five minutes.

I especially enjoyed Steve Buscemi (in a non-speaking role) as a pathetic tourist who makes the mistake of staring at an arguing couple in a Metro station. Also very good was a tale of vampire love. This one had a very simple plot -female vampire finds male victim, he becomes a vampire too- and no dialogue, but the visuals and facial expressions were great.

I won't list all of the well known actors and directors who participated in this project, but overall I found it much better than I expected. I say this because the concept, along with the title, make it sound like a rather obvious gimmick, but the result here is memorable, original and aesthetically pleasing (except maybe for one featuring mimes!). Highly recommended, especially to lovers of Paris.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wheat and the Chaff, 29 Nov. 2009
By 
Jonathan Posner (LONDON, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
Ideal, I thought. Too late at night to start watching a whole film, I'll just see two or three of these instead. But, just like biscuits, where you can't have just one, I ended up eating the whole packet. More than two hours later (documentary and trailer included) I was still there, so be warned.

But being addictive isn't the same as being good. A few of these eighteen short films are frankly terrible, some are adequate, others clever and two or three properly rise to the occasion. As there are so many of them I can't be bothered for the purposes of this review to go back and find out exactly who did what but here are the stand-outs, and my surprising conclusions.

Firstly, I remember the directors Gus van Sant, Wes Craven and the Coen brothers for all the wrong reasons. Their films are appalling. My first-year classmates at film school would have done better than that, even the ones that never made it to the second year. The proselytising of Parminder Nagra is likewise simple to the point of mundanity. And then you have all these stars clearly enjoying their school trip to Paris: Bob Hoskins, Fanny Ardant, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Ben Gazzara - but what were they all thinking? Only the splendid Natalie Portman and Maggie Gyllenhaal are amongst the few that have done their homework and as a result properly shine.

So what's to like? Well, actually quite a bit. Christopher Doyle's film is startling in its originality, as is the tender and heart-stopping piece about a mother grieving for her young son. Likewise the sweet-to-sad love story featuring Portman properly grasps the five-minute format like few others and shows a care and thoughtfulness that brings a smile to your face. The final film, perhaps the best, builds with a poignancy that is a joy to behold in its economy; seldom have five minutes of celluloid been as gripping, life-affirming, funny and sad all at the same time. This one, together with the others just mentioned, do in fact make the whole endeavour well worth the price of admission.

Little need be said about Paris itself; we all know it's gorgeous. But the cinematography here is quite superb, glowing and pulsing with interesting colours so that even the turkeys (see above) come out looking far better than they deserve. Though it does make me wonder that given production values as good as these maybe me and my film-school mates could have rocketed to stardom after only our first term.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of love tales, 12 Oct. 2008
By 
A customer (Asturias) - See all my reviews
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This is an eclectic collection of love tales set in Paris , some slightly dull and some just brilliant . The whole movie is worth watching just because of the Coen brothers film with Steve Buscemi and the romance between a boy and a vampire.

There are a lot of familiar faces in the movie and the short films a generally well directed , just because is 18 of them , it feels a little short.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and entertaining!, 21 April 2012
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A variety of stories each of which is quite unique and often surprising! And with Paris at their heart! I was reminded by the end, of what a delicate art it is to produce something in a few minutes with a clear beginning, middle and an end that immediately draws in the audience. There were several stories that I really liked but my favourite probably has to be the one by the Coen brothers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essence de Paris, 14 Mar. 2012
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paris, Je T'aime [DVD] (DVD)
There are twenty arrondissements (districts) in Paris, but this film chooses to showcase eighteen of them: eighteen "little neighbourhood romances". The nature of those romances stretch from a mother for a child to a vampire for her (willing) prey, as eighteen directors present short five-, six-, seven-minute films about their appointed district in the Capital of Love, all strung together in a seamless flow.

Some directors I already know; some are new to me. Some try something new, whilst others follow well-trodden paths. Thus Gurinder Chadha explores the melding of different cultures; Gus van Sant portrays a humorous gay pick-up; Joel and Ethan Coen provide a comic take on Paris's romantic reputation; Walter Salles looks at the city from the view of an immigrant nanny; Tom Tykwer looks at the uncanny; and Alexander Payne sees both the funny and sad sides in everyday experience. Who's missing? Well, it would have been nice to see the likes of Michael Haneke or Patrice Chereau make contributions, but I'm not complaining.

Such short films do not allow for much detailed characterisation, of course, but most are nevertheless satisfying in themselves, short vignettes of what may have been full-length feature films. Most of the directors also wrote their screenplays. Some directors play the game in a standard manner; some adopt a more quirky (Coen brothers) or even surreal approach (Christopher Doyle). There's even one with husband-and-wife mime artists, both corny and comic at the same time and certainly the one that made me laugh the most.

And it's more often the case that each arrondissement's tourist hotspot is not depicted as the backdrop to each romance. Whether this was done to avoid cliché or whether the plotline of the story had no need for the city's leading sights to intrude is superficially explored in the DVD's twenty-five-minute `Making of' extra, but the film itself still manages to feature the Eiffel Tower, Pere Lachaise, the Montparnasse Tower. It's a shame, though, that no scenes are set on the city's bridges.

It would be difficult to argue that all eighteen of these films could not have been shot anywhere else but in Paris, yet it is also true that most - through either visual or verbal means - would look confusing or out of place if shot, say in London instead. In that sense, this film really does possess and communicate some of the multiple personas of Paris. Consequently, anyone with a love for this city will probably like this film.
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