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Paris, Je T'Aime

Well, I do love Paris, but here I'm referring to the delightful film of that title. It's really a series of films, or perhaps a series of vignettes, all relating to love and all set in Paris, and they are all wonderful and the overall effect is extremely satisfying. Each vignette is directed by someone different and interesting, and the tone and style of the vignette very much reflects its director. There's a slightly surreal one set on a Metro platform directed by the Coen brothers and starring Steve Buscemi. Gus Van Sant directed one where one young man tries to pick up another. There's a vampire one not directed by Wes Craven although he appears in it and directs another delightful one set in the Pere Lachaisse cemetery and featuring the ghost of Oscar Wilde. There's a lovely one with Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands directed by Gerard Despardiu (and also featuring him) with both of them looking very old but somehow glowing, reminiscent slightly of the "oh yes, I remember it well" song in Gigi.

The acting is all terrific, and the cast is stellar - a constellation of "interesting" actors rather than "stars": Juliette Binoche, Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal (speaking beautiful French), Nick Nolte (in an unexpected role), Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, others whom I did not recognize. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking. The only form of love or attachment not included is one about a dog, and given the setting perhaps that's a minor omission!

Of course, part of the pleasure is the setting, and it will make you nostalgic for Paris. Each vignette features a different arrondisement or district, with the subject matter complementing the setting in some way.

I find myself thinking about many of the characters I met in that film and wondering what will happen next. That's the best kind of movie-going experience.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 3rd, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
I also liked this movie, some parts more than others, of course. I am sure it had more resononance for you, though.
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