Visually beautiful and involving
- Paris, 13th District review by Alphaville
If you miss Eric Rohmer and/or are a fan of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, you’re in for a treat. Director Jacques Audiard name-checks both on a Q/A on the DVD. Based on a comic book, the simple plot revolves around the lives and sexual relationships of four intelligent and likeable characters who live on the edge of Paris. In British hands this would have been a downbeat wallow in social realism. In Audiard’s hands it’s an elegiac celebration of life and love filmed in sparkling monochrome, sexually explicit but never prurient ? a welcome and deliberate antidote to what Audiard sees as today’s prudish age. Good to know the spirit of Rohmer is still alive and kicking across the Channel.
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
A spiky & sometimes engrossing film about falling in & out of love, set in a French apartment block
- Paris, 13th District review by TB
This is a decent attempt to make a film about love and attitudes to relationships, set in the modern day.
4 different people interact, falling in love and breaking up, all whilst searching for meaning. There are some interesting moments, plus this film is unusual in that there is much more explicit sex than a normal film like this, which does give it an interesting edge.
As much as there was some interesting parts, for me it was very much a case of sometimes really being gripping, but then within a few minutes, going back to not particularly caring. The most interesting character was probably Lucie Zhang's Émilie. It is even more staggering when you consider that this is her first film. She gives a very natural & spiky performance, which often gives the film the boost it so desperately needs. Noémie Merlant is also great, showing both an angry & vulnerable side. Her story arc is good as well, although it does come to rather an abrupt & strange conclusion which I didn't really buy.
The other thing I liked was that it was shot in black and white. It may have seemed like a gimmick, but it actually really works well.
Certainly this is more than a standard romantic film, but I just wished it had had a better story
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
An Intimate Romantic Drama
- Paris, 13th District review by GI
This intertwining romantic drama is actually quite a compelling portrayal of modern day relationships and emphasises the digital age control over them. Set in the predominantly Chinese populated 13th district of Paris the story follows four people who have various romantic encounters with one another in search of love and fulfilment. Émilie (Lucie Zhang) is a young Chinese/French science graduate stuck in menial jobs and living in her grandmothers flat as she's now in a nearby care home suffering from Alzheimers. She accepts teacher, Camille (Makita Samba) as a flatmate and the two soon start a sexual relationship which Camille ends when Émilie gets too serious for him. Nora (Noémie Merlant) is a mature student studying law who is the victim of a sex shaming campaign by her fellow students who mistake her for an online sex chat woman named Amber Sweet. Leaving university as a consequence she goes to work for Camille who has recently begun managing a real estate agency to get extra cash. They begin a relationship which Nora finds increasingly unsatisfying. Nora contacts Amber Sweet for advice and they soon bond. There's a lot of tenderness to be found in this interplay of hook ups and sexual play with love, for the most part, remaining elusive. In this age of technology that allows people to interconnect remotely without ever having to actually meet this film shows how various aspects of the digital world help that to happen too. So there's a delve into the sex cam world, an exploration of the dating for sex app world and even a declaration of love over an intercom, which is very sweet. This is an ensemble piece and the cast are excellent, it's a film that looks at sex and love in a quite routine way and in that it works really well and deserved it's accolades. Worth checking out.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.