Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
An interesting reflection on a wonderful city, but did it really work?
on 27 April 2012
I love Paris, having been there many times, and I enjoy a lot of French cinema (although I still have to read the subtitles), so add in Juliette Binoche and what's not to like? Well, to its credit the film doesn't try and present a picture postcard view of Paris that you suspect a Hollywood director might, and we are treated to more of a warts and all approach to the city that encompasses market traders down at the huge wholesale markets, as well as bohemian artistic types and social workers. The director invites us to love his city for its diversity of people and not just its beautiful architecture and sophisticated entertainment.
While I admit to having a rather romantic view of France which I like films to reinforce, I have no problem with that, but the result was a little disjointed and lacked much cohesion. There are too many strands, some of which could be interesting but aren't given time to develop while others get more time despite being less interesting. I also found the story of the central character that was supposed to hold it all together to be a little unconvincing and 2 dimensional. Furthermore I realise that writing this a couple of weeks after watching it I am struggling to recall many details, suggesting it made relatively little impact on me.
So while the film had its merits, it just never really worked together as a whole for me. Enjoy it for the relationship between the market stall holder and his estranged wife and the incredible dancing by the academic in front of his young lover. Don't watch it for classic views of the Seine and Boulevard Haussman,