4 November 2022.
YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATE – (Vous n’aurez pas ma haine) ***1/2 (vo French)
In November 2015, there were several terrorist attacks in one night at different venues in Paris that killed 130 people. The worst was at the Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen indiscriminately slaughtered 90 spectators. It was a nightmare that France cannot forget and out of it has come, in the past few months, three strong films with different points of view on the events: “November” with Jean Dujardin, “Revoir Paris” with Virginie Efira, and now this one, for me the most heartrending and realistic.
This film is the true story of Antoine Leiris (Pierre Deladonchamps) who lost his beloved young wife (Camelia Jordana) in the Bataclan attack. It first details their happy life together with their small son, and then takes us into the excruciating hours of waiting to have word of her safety and whereabouts after he sees the news of the attacks on TV.
German Director Kilian Riedhof literally puts the viewer into Leiris’s life from then on. We wait with him and his adorable little boy (who is actually played by a girl), we completely feel his bewilderment and his shock, and we live through the ups and downs of the following days and months, as he tries to go on for his child.
What made him famous was a letter he posted on Facebook a few days after the attacks, in trying to deal with his unbearable pain. In it, he wrote that the terrorists would not have his hate, for he would not give them that ultimate satisfaction, that he would rather keep his love for his son. His letter went viral as so many people felt his turmoil and his fight to keep his humanity and his sanity. He became famous, was on TV, in newspaper articles, invited even to the U.S. for interviews.
This is the intimate story behind the headlines, and it is brilliantly made and incredibly moving.
L’OMBRE DE GOYA par JEAN-CLAUDE CARRIÈRE *** (vo French and Spanish)
This artistic voyage, in quest of Spain’s legendary painter Francisco de Goya, is guided by one of France’s great cultural scholars and screenwriters, Jean-Claude Carrière, who passed away last year.
As viewers, we are privy to and begin to share in Carrière’s passion for the legacy of this multi-faceted painter of the 17th and 18th centuries. We learn how Goya captured on his canvases the common folk of his day, the lighthearted, almost cartoon-like depictions of his surroundings, but also the violence of the political turmoils and revolutions of his era. And we regale in both the simplicities and intricacies of his vast body of work as Carrière takes us through the grand Prado Museum.
We become witness to the vast influence Goya had on so many artists of the past and present day through various interviews with Carrière’s Iranian widow, Nahal Tajadod, renowned Spanish director Carlos Saura and the American painter and director Julian Schnabel. And through it all, Carrière’s own intelligent and perceptive dialogue simply captivates us.
In this spellbinding documentary, Spanish director Jose Luis Lopez-Linares has given heartfelt homage to both Carrière and Goya.
MASQUERADE **1/2 (vo French)
Nicolas Bedos (son of the famous actor and stand-up comedian Guy Bedos) has been one of France’s bright young minds for quite some time. First as a satirist of witty, intellectual critiques of people and society, a playwright and then actor and a director of such excellent films as “Mr. and Mrs. Adelman” and “La Belle Époque”.
This latest, which opened in Cannes, is not his best. He seems to have become more cynical than witty, more jaded than clever, more complicated than soul-searching. This film has too many side stories to it, and most of them are merely gossip material that leave a sour taste in one’s mind.
We’re in a rich enclave in the south of France with parties, flowing champagne and fake people. There is the lovely, but utterly egoistic and amoral young girl (Marine Vacth), the central character whom all men covet – a high class, careless call girl. She becomes involved with a sort of writer/gigolo (multi-talented Pierre Niney) who is being kept by a wealthy, older actress, overplayed by Isabelle Adjani (are we in “Sunset Boulevard” mode?). And there is a decent, married developer, played by the always nervous and intense François Cluzet, who falls into the young girl’s trap (now it’s “Les Liaisons Dangereuse” taking over…). There’s stolen jewellery, a shattered wife and a destroyed career. I told you it was complicated.
It’s one character cheating on the other and so on, in various degrees, and it becomes tiresome as none of them possess any soul. Bedos is worth more than this glittering emptiness.
MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (Une robe pour Mrs. Harris) **
What a pity, for this could have been such a charming tale. But the slow, amateurish direction and a clichéd script make this period story from the 1950s, about a simple cleaning lady in London (the usually excellent Lesley Manville) whose dream is to buy a dress from Dior in Paris, simply dull and predictable. The also usually excellent Isabelle Huppert and Lambert Wilson are wasted here – such overacting.
But there will be those who will enjoy this undemanding fairytale. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 93%! So if you’re looking for pleasant froth, this is your film.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT **** (vo German) – Reviewed Oct 14
This Friday and Sunday is your last chance to see this anti-war masterpiece. If you can take the harrowing battle scenes, this is one of the finest films of the year!
(At the Cinerama Empire at 11.45 – English subtitles on Sunday)
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Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.