Saturday, October 28, 2006

DANS PARIS - charming family drama

The not unattractive Romain Duris and Louis GarrelDANS PARIS is a movie written and directed by the young French auteur, Christophe Honoré. It is a quiet, lyrical, low budget film set in contemporary Paris, with a beautiful shooting style that owes a little to the nouvelle vague and an outstanding score that veers between free jazz and new punk by way of a virtuouso scene set to 80s pop princess, Kim Wilde's Cambodia. (I really need to get a copy of the soundtrack.) Style aside, the film is refreshing because it takes time to capture the intimate relationship between a father and his two sons. The father is caring but slightly misses the point with both of them - he cooks the elder son chicken soup as if this will cure his clinical depression. The elder son is played by Romain Duris. If not quite playing against type, he certainly shows a different side to his acting - more interior and at times playful. It is another interesting performance to chalk up on the board. He is joined by the Louis Garrel - best known to British film-goers as the French kid in Bertolucci's THE DREAMERS. Jonathan is a young University student who runs around town is a state of simultaneously detached and concerned brother-hood but also a sort of adolescent erotomania. It is a charming and effervescent performance.

DANS PARIS is essentially a day in the life of this family - a normal loving family that occasionally gets on each other's nerves and that is bound together in its grief for a dead sister. It's a tremendous film - nothing like the director's previous outing - the disturing and high impact MA MERE - but offers something genuinely insightful, touching and tragi-comic nonetheless.

DANS PARIS played Cannes and London 2006 and is already on release in France and Belgium.

1 comment:

  1. Your critique is on-target. I saw this film last night and it has been on my mind all day. The relationships between the brothers and their father are sensitively portrayed but not forced or phony.

    Best profile in cinema: Louis Garrel. His face should be on French coins.