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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Jul 062016
 

Celebrate a day of French culture with Catherine Deneuve, Jean Dujardin, Gerard Depardieu, Vincent Cassel, Sara Forestier and more on July 14, 2016!

Bastille Day is coming up soon and to help celebrate it, Music Box Films Home Entertainment recommends the following French cinema — currently available on VOD:

POTICHE 

The legendary Catherine Deneuve stars in this feminist fable as Suzanne Pujol, the trophy wife of the despotic boss (Fabrice Luchini) of an umbrella factory in 1977. The film by the divinely talented French director Francois Ozon is a real delight from beginning to effervescent end. After a nasty strike forces her husband to bed rest, Suzanne steps in at boss and relishes her new leadership role, employing her son (Jeremie Renier) and daughter (Judith Godreche) and expertly finessing labor leaders, especially head rabble rouser (Gerard Depardieu) with whom she’s had a brief affair in the past. Shot in bubbly bright colors, there’s almost a musical lightness to the story. Deneuve is just glorious. It’s hard to imagine anyone else with the same majestic presence (not to mention cinematic royalty) to embody this saga. A heavenly confection, with real heart.

Available now on HULU

Also on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/S1MXDsSBvT0

OSS 117: LOST IN RIO and CAIRO NEST OF SPIES

Academy award winner, Jean Dujardin stars as the pride of French intelligence, Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath – code named OSS 117 – has a new mission that takes him to the Bossa Nova Brazil of the 1960’s. Teaming up with the Oscar winning team of The Artist including Director, Michel Hazanavicius and Berenice Bejo, OSS 117 Lost in Rio and Cairo Nest of Spies features sophisticated ridiculousness for all.

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD

Only $1.99 rental on YouTube

Trailer: OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies: https://youtu.be/JDjQWDJC980

SERAPHINE

Séraphine is the true story of Seraphine Louis aka Séraphine de Senlis (Yolande Moreau), a simple and profoundly devout housekeeper who in 1905 at age 41 — self-taught and with the instigation of her guardian angel — began painting brilliantly colorful canvases. Director Martin Provost builds his story around the relationship between the avant-garde art dealer and the visionary cleaning lady, forging a testament to the mysteries of creativity and the resilience of one woman’s spirit

Available now on HULU

Also on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/HpK_qugNHCM

SHALL WE KISS

Equally seduced by one another, but both otherwise committed, Emilie and Gabriel know they will probably never see each other again. He would like to kiss her.  

“Irresistible, enchanting…with a surprisingly sober twist.” – Marie Claire 

Starring: Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuel Mouret, Julie Gayet Director: Emmanuel Mouret.

Only $1.99 rental on YouTube

Also on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/HpK_qugNHCM

MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT

Cesar award-winner Vincent Cassel stars as Jacques Mesrine, a loyal son and dedicated soldier back home and living with his parents after serving in the Algerian War. Seduced by the neon glamour of sixties Paris and the easy money it presents, Mesrine turns his back on middle class law-abiding and soon moves swiftly up the criminal ladder. While mentored by Guido (Gerard Depardieu), he pulls off an audacious heist and flees to Canada with his lover Jeanne (Cecile de France) where the opportunity propels him towards international notoriety.

Available now on HULU

and on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Only $1.99 rental on YouTube

Trailer: https://youtu.be/GDSekGDUHHE

MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY #1

Now back in France, Mesrine is finally in police custody and facing justice for his crimes. After escaping a courtroom and kidnapping the judge at gunpoint, Mesrine is declared Public Enemy Number 1 and is eventually condemned to a maximum-security prison where he writes his memoirs, establishing himself as a household name and the anti-hero across France. Mesrine stages another daring escape and disappears into the lawless underworld, taunting the police into another bloody circle.

Available now on HULU

Also on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, [only $1.99 on YouTube], DVD, BD

Only $1.99 rental on YouTube

Trailer: https://youtu.be/qKKzQb9_dUk

THE NAMES OF LOVE

Sara Forestier stars as Baya Benmahmoud, a young, extroverted liberal, lives by the old hippie slogan: “Make love, not war” to convert right-wing men to her left-wing political causes by sleeping with them. She seduces many and so far has received exceptional results – until she meets Arthur Martin (Jacques Gamblin), a Jewish middle aged, middle-of-the road scientist. Bound by common tragic family histories (the Algerian War and Holocaust under Vichy), the duo improbably falls in love. Amid the bubbly amour, humorous lasciviousness and moments of sheer madness, filmmaker Michel Leclerc injects satirical riffs on such hot-button sociopolitical issues as Arab-Jewish relations, anti-Semitism, immigration, and racial and cultural identity.

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vimeo, Vudu, YouTube, DVD

Only $1.99 rental on YouTube

Trailer: https://youtu.be/Ipig9HfESFM

MOZART’S SISTER

Europe, 1763: Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart (Marie Féret) is an accomplished singer, harpsichordist and violinist and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (David Moreau) elder sister by five years. Though she first held forth as the family’s infant prodigy and was originally the family’s featured performer, Nannerl has given way to Wolfgang as the main attraction, as their strict but loving father Leopold (Marc Barbe) tours his talented offspring in front of the royal courts of pre-French revolution Europe. No longer a precocious child, Nannerl chafes at the limitations imposed by her gender. But a friendship with the son and daughter of Louis XV offers her ways to challenge the established sexual and social order.

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/h1Y1vxtMqfA

GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE

Taking the best from La Vie En Rose and Amelie, renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar’s Gainsbourg: A Heroic LIfe is a completely original take on one of France’s greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Jewish singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Sfar follows him from his precocious childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, to his beginnings as small time jazz musician and, finally, pop superstar. Along the way he romances many of the era’s most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). Employing a witty, surrealistic style and a soundtrack that includes many of the musician’s greatest hits, this Cesar Award winning film is a quintessential time capsule from 1960s Paris.

[This was Lucy Gordon’s last film before her untimely death]

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/zojRyGQP4x8

MONSIEUR LAZHAR

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.

Available now on HULU

Also on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/NTQOCDnumEc

AUGUSTINE

Based on the true story, 19-year-old kitchen maid Augustine (breakout performance by French artist Soko) suffers an inexplicable seizure leaving her partially paralyzed and shipped off to an all-female psychiatric hospital specializing in the then-fashionable ailment of ‘hysteria’. Another attack that appears to give her intense physical pleasure, she strikes the attention of renowned neurologist (and mentor to Sigmond Freud) Dr. Charcot (Vincent Lindon). Intrigued, he begins using her as his principal subject, hypnotizing her in front of his fellow doctors and soon the lines between doctor and patient become blurred, radically impacting the course of both of their lives.

Chronicling one woman’s sexual awakening against the backdrop of Victorian psychology and social repression, director Alice Winocour’s auspicious feature film debut stars 27 year-old French recording artist Soko in a breakout performance, Vincent Lindon (Mademoiselle Chambon), and Chiara Mastroianni (Prêt-à-Porter, Nowhere).

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vimeo, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/NTQOCDnumEc

THE RETURNED

Winner of a Peabody, International Emmy and Television Critics’ Association Awards, “‘The Returned’ is mesmerizing television” as hailed by The New York Times.

In an idyllic French Alpine village, a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes. What they do not yet know is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. A gripping, stylish mix of real and surreal, the highly cinematic The Returned (Les Revenants) features a wide range of top French film actors and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. The Returned was also a smash hit on The Sundance Channel.

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/01c4LF_QROE

GEMMA BOVERY

Director Anne Fontaine’s (COCO BEFORE CHANEL) clever adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel Gemma Bovery is at once a cheeky literary mash-up, a sensuous romance, a witty feminist commentary and a heady celebration of French provincial life.

In this vibrant seriocomic re-imagining of Flaubert’s literary classic Madame Bovary, life imitates art in uncanny ways when earthy British beauty Gemma Bovery (Gemma Arterton) and her furniture restorer husband Charles (Jason Flemyng) move to a charming ramshackle old farmhouse in the very same Norman village where the novel was written a century earlier.  As reality sets in on the fantasy of rural French domesticity, Bovery finds herself at a crossroads and seems her destiny is linked to that of Flaubert’s doomed heroine.  

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/ngesu4t3oKc

MAISON CLOSE: SEASON ONE and SEASON TWO

Set in a lavish 19th Century Parisian bordello, the provocative and popular French erotic drama Maison Close invites American audiences into a sumptuous, stylized world where desire and power reign.  Following the suppression of la Commune, a short-lived workers’ revolutionary movement in the 1870s, a cast of gorgeous women trapped by circumstances reside in “Paradise,” a top-rate “closed house” reserved for aristocratic or bourgeois clientele and known for its strange and refined practices during a time of legalized prostitution.

Hortense (Valérie Karsenti) is the ruthless and manipulative madame who runs her business with an iron fist; Véra (Anne Charrier) is the stunning star courtesan in her 30s nearing the end of her career; and country ingénue Rose (Jemima West, Mortal Bones: The City of Instruments), arrives in search of her mother, only to be blackmailed into becoming a prostitute.  

By turns both erotic and political, this uncompromising, finely crafted television series is the perfect mix of style and substance, a richly compelling period drama with unmistakably modern flair that reimagines age-old themes–and the world’s oldest profession–in bold new ways.

SEASON ONE

Available now on HULU and on: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Trailer: https://youtu.be/m8YCL7xkXsw

SEASON TWO

Available: Amazon; Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, DVD, BD

Clips available upon request

 Posted by on July 6, 2016  Add comments

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