peter A cross

ramblings from a troubled mind

Posts Tagged ‘Inception

hmmm just a petite francaise s’il vous plaît

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Not every film should be a ‘Citizen Kane’ or an ‘Inception’, sometimes it’s a real pleasure to go to the movies and just let a film wash over you like a gentle brook in the late summer of the French country side. I know it’s too much but these are the kind of feelings that bubble to the surface when you see ‘My Afternoons with Margueritte’. No CGI, no spectacular sets, no scintillating drawing-room wit just good honest story telling from beginning to end. Director Jean Becker has created one of those movies that you know, almost from the opening scenes, how it’s going to end without ever being disappointed by the road it takes. The plot is simple, and I use the word simple in its most innocent sense, and it is a delight. To use the phrase that sends shudders of terror up your fellow scribe’s spines… it’s heart warming.

Germain (Gerard Depardieu) plays a mostly illiterate man in his fifties who has clearly had one too many baguettes; he meets Margueritte (Giselle Casadesus) an older and much lighter, brighter woman in the local park. She is air to his mountain. They strike up a friendship, as you do, and she begins to expand his mind as she reads aloud to him extracts from her favourite novels. Giselle, of course is beginning to lose her eyesight and as their friendship grows Germain takes over as her reader. Once thought of as the village buffoon Germain slowly begins to change as new worlds open for him and then, through him, for the others in the village.

It’s that simple, a love story without the complications of sex; a flirtatious tale of mutual respect.

Depardieu fits nicely in the role of overweight gentle giant with a boyish charm and Casadesus is an absolute joy to watch, under playing each scene brilliantly yet still acting the pants off her much younger fellow cast members.

Both Depardieu and Casadesus have worked with director Becker before so there is already a thread that links these three together and creates a bond that gives them the freedom to trust each other. And although Casadesus is ninety-five there is an incredible vibrancy and youthfulness in her performance.

All the supporting cast are strong but special mention should be made of Claire Maurier who plays Depardieu’s la mère’ and has a ball as the much maligned and slightly mad parental foil of this hulk of a man.

I know I’m going on about it a bit now but I really liked the gentleness, the soft touches and heart of the movie. I feel as if I should write so much more about it but it would just be padding.

If you want a pleasant afternoon or evening where you won’t be challenged but you will be offered the chance to just enjoy a movie again then this is for you. If you want ‘The Reader’ you’ll still go home smiling… in spite of yourself.

‘My Afternoons with Margueritte’ opens in limited release, from April 7 2011.


Written by peteracross

April 5, 2011 at 16:41

It’s catch up time kiddies – theatre and film oh my!

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So you laugh and then you cry


I feel sort of, kind of guilty bad, I haven’t written anything about nothing for this little blog of mine for a while so I’m going to use this night to just catch up. See how we are all travelling.              

Now to the y’arts:              

I’ve been seeing a lot of film and theatre lately – some good, some not so good. Well it has been Oscar season.              

The crop of movies that hit the Oscar awards trail this year was pretty damn fine.                            

I was left untouched by Black Swan – although I did think Mila Kunis was very good – she’s the annoying Jackie from ‘That 70’s Show’.  Natalie didn’t really do it for me and Mamma played by Barbra Hershey – well I wasn’t having a bar of her. (I know but sometimes you just have to say it)                            

True Grit I thought the girl, the child; the little one was brilliant, I mean she acted the pants off most of the people working in film today; she was a joy to watch, listen to and get carried away with. I really enjoyed the movie even though it took me a good half an hour to work out what Jeff Bridges was saying.                            

Inception I loved every hour of every minute of every second. I can’t understand why people found it so hard to follow – were they on drugs?                            

The King’s Speech, well I need say nothing about that, so of course I will; a movie right up my processional arch. From Jeff to Cole to little ol’ Helen it hit every right nerve – I was a tingle throughout, despite a few little errors of historical fact.                            

The Social Network I enjoyed but wasn’t in raptures and I am a huge FaceBook fan. And I always love a good-looking young cast – so I was as surprised as anyone not to be swept up by it. Little Juzzie T is turning into a fine young actor – he might have a career there one day.                            

Toy Story 3 what can I say: I want to see actors now – I’m at that age. As good as it was and as real as they looked and as well done as it was – damn it I want humans on stage.                            

The Fighter, The Kid’s Are Alright and 127 Hours I didn’t get to see but I’m sure I will over the next month. I had so much good, heavy film I was very pleased to be asked to the premiere of Hall Pass; mindless entertainment with laugh out loud (lol) moments, nothing taxing but good ol’ fashioned fun.                            

Oh and just for the hell of it a movie I am one of the Executive Producers on, Violet Tendencies which had two screenings at Queer Screen, with a third screening coming up at the Beresford Hotel  on Monday 21 March (I will be stuck with Hamlet  at the STC ) – go see it or hand in your queer card.                            

And then there was the Theatre:                            

The great thing about seeing live theatre – as opposed to dead theatre I guess – is the variety and this last week has been one heck of a ride.                            

From Ruhl to Rossini, from Rossini to Islam, from Islam to Ibsen and not in that particular order.                            

The Barber of Seville,  or as I wittily remarked Barbra of Seville, was a bit like a Farrelly movie – nothing taxing just a few humable ditties and a bit of ol’ farce. All in all a good night at Oprah’s place.                            

As for Islamic Harmonics (not really a play but I went) I can see why the middle ages were in the middle. They are a bit like the third series of a TV show – I kept looking for the shark to jump and there she was all trussed up and disguised as Winsome Evans.  Too much of Winsome spoils you for all that follow. But seriously I enjoyed the night even though I felt that one of the two Whirling Dervishes didn’t really whirl as much as one hoped he would. Perhaps he was all whirled out from an earlier unannounced whirl.                            

The Other Room or The Vibrator Play even though it got PMSLOL from the opening night crowd left me wanting something a bit… more, harder, something with more bone in it. It seemed to be an opportunity missed to actually deal with the issues that surrounded sexuality and isolation at the turn of the century – the last century that is not the one that we are in. Performances were all okay, direction seemed adequate, staging was very much a tribute to the era but something didn’t gel. There were pockets of resistance through the room and at half time, because it felt like we were in it for the long haul, we wondered “What are we missing here? Why aren’t we getting it?” No one had a good answer.                            

The Wild Duck, well thank heavens for mallards. Simple set dialogue cut back and down and what a great story to be told. It was a great end to a couple of weeks of theatre and if this is an indication of how Belvoir will go post Neil Armfield then we are in for a heck of a good year of theatre.                            

The STC is playing catch up and they have a lot of running to do.                            

So this week it’s Zebra at the STC with Colin Friels, Bryan Brown and Nadine Garner and back to semi-proper reviews.                            

Thanks for staying with me and as my old parish priest used to say “See you in the dark.”              

And only because I love the opening credits so much I’ve added this: