Saturday, 19 June 2010


Indigènes: Review

What's it all about?:

The Good:

The Bad:

The Downright Ugly:

Final Verdict:

Release Date
: 2006
Directed By: Rachid Bouchareb
Starring:Jamel Debbouze, Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Bernard Blancan
Country of Origin: France, Morocco, Belgium, Algeria

Jesus de Montréal: Review / Une Critique

What's it all about? / De quoi s'agit-il?:

The Good / Le Bon:

The Bad / La Brute:

The Downright Ugly / Le Franchement Laid:

Final Verdict / Le Verdict Final:

Release Date / Date de sortie
Directed By / Réalisé par:
Starring / Avec:

Country of Origin / Pays d'origine:

Ma vie en rose: Review

What's it all about?:

The Good:

The Bad:

The Downright Ugly:

Date of Release:
Directed By:
Country of Origin: Belgium

Les Beaux Gosses: Une Critique

De quoi s'agit-il?:

Le Bon:

La Brute:

Le Franchement Laid:

Le Verdict Final:

Date de sortie cinéma : 2009
Réalisé par: Riad Sattouf
Avec: Vincent Lacoste, Anthony Sonigo,
Pays d'origine:

La Job et Le Bureau: Feature

Firstly, I should explain that both La Job and Le Bureau are French language versions of popular BBC comedy show The Office (the BBC's most successful export ever), from Canada (Montreal) and France respectively.
This feature has one objective: to recommend them.

La Job

As far as I know, this is the funniest thing to have ever come out of Canada,it's the third foreign language adaptation of The Office, and quite probably the greatest.
Filmed as a documentary like The Office, La Job incorporates twelve episodes (although for some reason that I can't figure out, only two are widely available). Like Le Bureau, its French counterpart, the scripts have been adapted from the British scripts, with names and cultural references changed appropriately, rather than creating news ones à la the American Office.
Wernham & Hogg becomes Les Papier Jennings, and regional manager David Brent becomes David Gervais (the surname being a little homage to Ricky Gervais and his French-Canadian roots).
David Gervais is truly cringe-worthy, in a similar vein to the English version he fails to grasp the notion of political correctness, and often makes a fool out of himself in front of his employees and succeds in making viewing the programme an uncomfortable experience. I don't know if it's due to his constant and often incorrect anglicisms, or his look, or general aura (in comparison to David Brent he seems to have a far needier personality) but Antoine Vézina (a performer of the reputed Ligue nationale d'improvisation (LNI), a Quebec-born concept of improvisational theatre and international improv team competitions) nails his role and provides laughs galore, the two episodes are worth watching just to see him. And you can see him in action here, and judge for yourselves.
Le Bureau

This French remake of The Office was commissioned after a dubbed version of the English series didn't do as well as expected in France.
While remaingin pretty true to the majority of scenes in the original, Le Bureau has some noticeable French quirks. Smelly cheese replaces jelly, the cleaning lady comes from West Africa, and a Parisian banlieue replaces Slough, but like La Job the series' main comic delight is the David Brent character, Gilles Triquet. Who is played by the ever-watchable François Berléand (hailed by Le Figaro as a tour de force), and similarly to David Gervais conveys his awkward humour by inapposite anglicisms "zat's life" and casual political in-correctness. This "boss trop cool" is an older mutation of David Brent complete with novelty purple facial hair (a minute vertical strip from this mouth to his chin). Desperate to appear younger than his years, Gilles speaks in verlan, goes out to hip Parisian bars and attempts English slang e.g. "okey-dokey". The French press embraced Gilles Triquet as the embodiment of a stereotypical 'beauf', and decided that Le Bureau's portrayal of a man going through a midlife crisis, the depiction of the monotony of life in the Parisian suburbs and the preoccupation of workplace rights (a subject dear to most French hearts) was the perfect combination for laughs.

"Without doubt the funniest series of the year,"
Le Journal du Dimanche

"dark and hilarious"
Le Figaro

Capitaine Conan: Review

What's it all about?

This film, based on the 1934 Prix Goncourt winning novel of the same name focuses on a group of French soldiers mobilized yet not allowed to fight (roving Bolsheviks) in Bucharest just after the armistice of the First World War.
The first half of the film, devoted to the war vividly conveys what a brutal business it is, and what kind of man it takes to fight it successfully.
Capitaine Conan, one of these men, unsuited to peacetime, is finding it hard to control his soldiers, especially after years of fighting they, hardened and ruthless must now not react to the attacks they are subjected to. Bored of guard duty and drills, it's not long before these pent up soldiers resort to committing a series of petty (and several serious) infractions.
The French military begins to conduct courts-martial of some of its bravest soldiers for these most petty crimes. One of the few officers Conan actually respects, Lt. Norbert (Samuel Le Bihan), has been assigned to the tribunal to defend the accused soldiers. Their friendship becomes severely strained when two of Conan's men rob a nightclub, leaving two women dead.
A war-film yes, but the main subject of this film is what happens to the warriors when there is no war.

The Good:

Superbly acted by a cast of relative unknowns, the film is also beautifully shot by cinematographer Alain Choquart, who blends oustanding landscape photography with some breathless handheld camera-work that fill Tavernier's battle scenes with a grueling immediacy.

The Bad:

A slow start, and a confusing scenario if you're not aware of the historical and military implications of the end of First World War.

The Downright Ugly:

Nothing to report.

Final Verdict:

As a period piece of exacting and precise detail and as a triumph of assured filmmaking in every aspect, "Capitaine Conan" is a challenging and enriching experience.

Click here to see the trailer!
  • Release Date: 1997
  • Directed By: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Starring: Phillippe Torreton, Samuel Le Bihan, François Berléand
  • Country of Origin: France