Sumptuous, sensuous, and some playful naughtiness in this vibrant tale… MoreSumptuous, sensuous, and some playful naughtiness in this vibrant tale of a traveling theatrical troupe in 1660s France. If she wasn't already a longtime star, this would be considered a star-making type of role for Sophie Marceau who completely captivates as Marquise du Parc, a real historical figure who rose to fame as an actress coveted by playwrights Moliere and Racine as well as Louis XIV himself. Not only is she naturally gorgeous but she fills Marquise with a stubborn fire and passion for acting that electrifies in one of the best performances of her career, gets to show off her nimble and seductive dancing skills, and all the while crammed into a breast ballooning corset. The supporting cast is superb, especially Bernard Giraudeau as a wearying yet quick-witted Moliere and Thierry Lhermitte as the pompous Sun King. Everything in the production is first rate, from the costumes, the Italian locations plus a stop at Versailles, and the rich period music. Best of all is the script brimming with witty one-liners and racy reproaches, this is in fact a boisterous comedy laced with untimely tragedy providing a real feast for the senses and emotions. Puts the overrated "Shakespeare In Love" to shame in every respect, and oh yeah, this one came out a year earlier.
Better than I expected, offering a few genuine laughs and believable… MoreBetter than I expected, offering a few genuine laughs and believable relationships between three women (a wife and two mistresses) cheated on by the same man. Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann perform brightly, while Kate Upton has two things going for her and neither of them is acting talent. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones) hits the mark as the sneeringly caddish adulterer, and his double offers the funniest breaking-through-glass stunt of all time.
Or, The Dowdy Half-Dozen? Female Agents shines some light on a rather… MoreOr, The Dowdy Half-Dozen? Female Agents shines some light on a rather unknown slice of World War Two history in which women were recruited and trained by the British government to act as spies in occupied France. Sophie Marceau's character was inspired by one such real life French agent named Lise de Baissac, one of only six women to be decorated with honors by the military during that war. While her backstory and future detailed in the epilogue are given a true account, what happens during the film is pure fiction! That's why her name was changed, since this mission never really occurred. Even so, the film capably presents a scenario that could have happened and thus offers an exciting couple hours of action and espionage as five women and their CO are dispatched to extract a disguised British geologist with knowledge of the imminent D-Day invasion from a German hospital. Torture scenes are wincing & convincing, as is Sophie with her stone-cold determination and ability to operate a sniper rifle. I also recommend you read the Telegraph's obituary on Lise de Baissac, who died in 2004 at age 98 and gave the director the idea for making this film. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1458206/Lise-Villameur.html
An engaged man who believes that long-term relationships, particularly… MoreAn engaged man who believes that long-term relationships, particularly marriage, inevitably destroy the romance that he craves decides to win the affection of a pretty acrobat and never share physical intimacy. This French romantic fantasy blossoms with lots of charm, it's impossible not to love Sophie Marceau as the whimsical Fanfan. Alexandre on the other hand gives new meaning to the word douche, which is impressive because the French invented it. Not only is he screwing over his gorgeous fiancée, but he strings Fanfan along without regard for her emotions - or her sanity. If you wanted to be near someone, but stay at a distance, what is the perviest thing you could think of to do? That's right, secretly rent the apartment next to her and replace her wall-length mirror with a one-way mirror when she next goes out of town. But if you're willing to suspend reality, this leads to a couple wonderful scenes back to back with Fanfan first posing in her bubble bath and then her and Alexandre dancing to swing music on opposite sides of the mirror. The scene where they travel back in time to 1813 Vienna on a movie set is equally magical. If it was not for Alexandre and his hang-ups I would give an even higher rating as they demonstrate a real onscreen chemistry together.
Dopey vampire flick offers no scares but a few intentional chuckles… MoreDopey vampire flick offers no scares but a few intentional chuckles and one genuine surprise. Begins with a wholly unnecessary 4-minute backhistory of this particular vampire nest, although I guess they deserve some credit for trying to give their characters some footing, but what's with the little red homunculus dude named Marvin getting so much camera time? Knows not to overstay its welcome at a scant 67 minutes and doesn't take itself seriously, which are two reasons to prefer it over Twilight.
I've got a name for it: Shit Sanduche. At least most people have… MoreI've got a name for it: Shit Sanduche. At least most people have recognized that just because it's in Spanish doesn't make it superior to similar American slag. Desperately dull most of the time with an epically anemic confrontation payoff. In other words, or rather, I only need to use one - avoid. One star because the directing isn't terrible and the acting from the leads is fairly competent.
Delightful escapist yarn finds Eloise the daughter of the famous… MoreDelightful escapist yarn finds Eloise the daughter of the famous D'Artagnan rousing the retired musketeers back into action to thwart a plot against young prince Louis XIV. Or so she thinks after she and others misinterpret a laundry list covered in blood for a secret code! Philippe Noiret and Sophie Marceau are terrific in creating a sparring father-daughter relationship, while Luigi Proietti is a hoot as multitasking Cardinal Mazarin. Plenty of lively horseplay, wordplay, and swordplay to go around with Marceau in particular breaking some uncredited ground as an action heroine, performing all her fencing and nearly all her own stunts a couple years before the likes of Xena and Buffy debuted on American TV screens. Combining a reckless abandon with breathtaking beauty, she's simply great fun and a real joy to watch in this. Furthermore it's a movie about the famous Dumas Musketeers that's actually made in France by the French, what more could you ask for?
Effective low-key thriller enhanced by short bursts of tensely… MoreEffective low-key thriller enhanced by short bursts of tensely gripping action. Greatly superior to the limp American remake " The Tourist ", make sure you see this one first to avoid the same anger I relived because the major surprise had already been spoiled. Even worse, that movie only survived by cheating with its characters' behavior, while "Anthony Zimmer" makes more logical sense while planting some shrewd clues. Admittedly that one features a ravishing Angelina Jolie, but an enticingly enigmatic Sophie Marceau doesn't get seated at the table by the kitchen door either.
A 22-year-old teacher studying for her literary exams meets a… MoreA 22-year-old teacher studying for her literary exams meets a 28-year-old touring musician at just the wrong time. Can they overcome the many obstacles and differences between them? Does love in fact conquer all? These are the questions tackled in this seriocomic affair, drawing inspiration from the philosophical writings of Moliere. Starts off sprightly, loses some traction due to the geographical separation of the stars, but finds its way to an agreeable conclusion without tying up in ribbons. Sophie Marceau is at her best when playing a fiery, strong-willed woman like Valentine, and of course she's gorgeous too. Her emotional oral exams during the climactic scene give her a real chance to shine as an actress.
It's all about sensitivity and soft focus for David Hamilton, a… MoreIt's all about sensitivity and soft focus for David Hamilton, a director from a bygone age of earnest erotica. He poses his subjects like in the paintings of Rubens, and seduction scenes proceed at a pace of live action slow-motion. There's not much story, and the logistics of where people are and what time they are there never made sense, but to his credit he's more interested in exploring the honesty of people's feelings. I only watched this because it marked the film debut of the luminous Emmanuelle Beart who received something like sixth billing, but it turned out to be better, and certainly more mature, than I expected for a sexual-coming-of-age feature. Some quality camerawork, including a memorable shot expressing the distance between a husband on the pier and his wife departing in a boat, and beautiful bodies keep the eyes satisfied. The ending is quite abrupt and I was rather stunned at the way the guy was hung out to dry following the greatest grief of his life!