Games of Love and Chance (L'Esquive)
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Games of Love and Chance (L'Esquive)
Krimo schemes his way into acting in a play in order to get closer to Lydia, the divaesque lead actress, whom he loves. This is not your typical high-school comedy, however, but a reality-based romance set in the housing complexes that ring Paris. The inhabitants are mostly disadvantaged North Africans and the play is an 18th-century comedy whose language is as far from French slang as Shakespeare is from rap.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Mostly a monotonous din of kids trashing one another."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Kechiche extracts breathtakingly disciplined performances from all of his first-time actors, and truly magical ones from Forestier as the prematurely full-blown diva Lydia and Sabrina Ouazani as Frida, her motor-mouthed partner in theatrical crime."
‑ Jan Stuart, Newsday
"Viewers here can't help but respond to the raw emotions and acting ability of the largely nonprofessional cast."
‑ Erica Abeel, Film Journal International
"the positive messages of The Game... make it worthwhile, especially for younger auds with a spirit of adventure to see something not created for the multiplex"
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"This isn't La Haine, it's more like Raising Victor Vargas, another surprisingly positive-minded film about urban youth."
‑ Kevin N. Laforest, Montreal Film Journal
"It is a provocative and potentially rich premise, to be sure, but the execution here is somewhat lacking."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"A work of drama, it's more realistic than any TV reality show."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Abdellatif Kechiche's beautifully observed tale of high-school kids in the projects outside Paris... plays like a Cassavetes project in a fresh, young mode."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"expertly evokes these kids' world, where a cell phone is an all important possession, hip hop slang the language of the day and their couplings the main topic of conversation."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"L'Esquive consistently teeters on the brink of tragedy but dares to end on a chipper note."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"This graceful and sympathetic look at how the lives of teenagers intersect with a work of literature won several César awards in France."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Reading between the cuss words, the movie glimpses a sunny teen innocence just before it darkens irreversibly into adulthood."
‑ David Ng, Village Voice
"Games of Love and Chance plays like a French version of Jim McKay's Our Song. But, unlike McKay's superior American version, Kechiche is unable to transform the everyday lives of his characters into something meaningful."
‑ Jordan Reed, Boxoffice Magazine
"An innovative romantic coming-of-age tale set in a tough ghetto area outside Paris populated mainly by Muslim kids from North Africa."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Has a lot of promise, but despite two raw, excellent performances L'esquive does not deliver."
‑ Boyd van Hoeij,
More reviews for Games of Love and Chance (L'Esquive) on Rotten Tomatoes