Sunday, 28 March 2010

Cinéfranco 2010 Day 2 - Saturday March 27, 2010

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Day 2 at Cinéfranco was all comedy, all the time. Yep, all three films I saw were from France and comedies, spanning topics from crazy pooch antics with Bambou to subversive coaching in Le Coach. In between those two I caught Une semaine sur deux (et la moitié des vacances scolaires), which has lots of funny moments but is really a dramety. It was great to spend the day giggle in the dark with a great set of French film.

Bambou / Bamboo
Dir: Didier Bourdon
Cast: Didier Bourdon, Anne Consigny, Pierre Ardidt, Eddy Mitchell, Anny Duperey
France

I was very surprized to see a comedy that at first look seemed to be about really disliking a dog. That was a new one. I mean, dogs can be troublesome yes, but who could dislike the cutie pie cocker spaniel Bambou? Turns out that if the dog is causing problems, looks like there were already problems there. Along with the the dog Bambou, we follow the couples life that she becomes a part of as their relationship goes from bad to worse. The film is a cute comedy as it follows it's new dog owners and their oddball adventures involving everyone from neighbours, co-workers to even ragtag petty criminal friends yet somehow manages to keep it all together. And all the very cute dog moments help.

Une semaine sur deux (et la moitié des vacances scolaires) / Alternate Weeks (and Half the Vacation)
Writer/Dir: Ivan Calbérac
Cast: Bertille Chabert, Bernard Campan, Mathilde Seigner, Danièle Lebrun, Grégori Derangère, Judith Davis, Jean-Baptiste Fonck
France

If you can't tell grom the very succinct title, this films follows a family transitioning after a divorce as they opt for alternate week (and half the vacation) style custody for the kid, 12 year old Léa and her younger brother Maxime. With this premise it's amazing how beautifully all the different relationships are explored through the changing family dynamics as well as new people being added to the mix. While there is fair share of focus on both the parents, it's really our 12 year old protagonist Léa (played by Bertille Chabert), who keeps us strikingly centred throughout the film with her own gentle coming of age. Bernard Campan is absolutely lovely as the Calins Gratuits (free hug) giving father François who's all, in theory, about being open and talking directly with concrete suggestions to both of his 12 and younger kids. It's a refreshingly gracious family portrait of transition, growing and learning to live with lives with open hearts.

Le coach / The Coach
Dir: Olivier Doran
Cast: Richard Berry, Jean-Paul Rouve, Anne Marivin, Mélanie Bernier
France

Absolutely fantastic film following a professional coach for hire on an unusual case that needs to taken care of swiftly and quietly. An insightful and often hilarious look at human nature, the film easily showcases how the complexities of life and how unique and individual people can be. Anyone interested in human behaviour will get a kick out of Le coach, for it draws us in on curiosity but also charms us over in a heart beat. The writing is pitch perfect as well, playing out with an almost heist like caper film, even though set in a white collar business world. Great characters, stellar performances and a fantastic premise, Le coach hits it home on all fronts.

Cinéfranco 2010 runs from March 26 - April 3, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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