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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Paris (review)

Ah, Paris. Ah, Juliette Binoche. If you need a dash of the Continent — romantic, inscrutable, ardent — you probably cannot ever go wrong with a flick set in the City of Light and starring one of the most luminous actresses ever to grace the arthouse screen. And this cinematic sonnet is just the thing to satisfy such a hankering: sneak in a baguette and a bottle of red wine, and you’re all set. Which isn’t to say that writer-director Cédric Klapisch’s (Russian Dolls, The Spanish Apartment) rambling ode to the city and its people is entirely satisfying as a movie: these loosely interconnected tales of lonely, despondent, sad Parisians never quite gels into something wholly cohesive, but c’est la vie, non? Binoche’s (Summer Hours) Élise, divorced with three small kids, moves in with her younger brother, Pierre (Romain Duris: Le Divorce), when he learns he’s dying — he spends his days now watching the city go by from his balcony. If the film is sprawling, it is at least pleansantly so, in the same way that actual urban living offers us only brief glimpses into the lives of others. And they aren’t always as carefree as they look… (available in the U.S. on IFC on Demand)

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MPAA: rated R for language and some sexual references

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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