Thursday, February 19, 2004

Movie Review: The ineffable pain of French movies

I believe I am ready to talk about this now. Yes. I know I am. I am not yet whole, but I am strong enough. Yes. Strong enough.

The subject for today is the French-film-by-a-Polish-director: "The Double Life of Veronique". It isn't a bad title. It sounds like either a spy thriller or some sleazy story about a part-time prostitute. No such luck. Here's the beginning of the plot summary from the web page:

Veronika lives in Poland. Veronique lives in Paris. They don't know each other. Veronika gets a place in a music school...

Under normal circumstances this would have been enough to send me screaming for the door. "No! You can't make me watch that! It burns ussssss! It BURNS ussssss!" But in this case the movie also has a brief appearance by the delectable Lorraine Evanoff, and I decided to risk the pain to see her in this short, yet pivotal role. The movie was all I feared it would be: dull, incoherent and pretentious with excellent acting and overbearing direction. I'd look up the director and actors, but you wouldn't care. Yet in the midst of this grotesque memorial to the former greatness of European creativity shone one bright moment (well, three bright moments, if you add the two boob shots) a brief scene of crystal clarity, a moment of inspired assertion of honor by the lovely Lorraine. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have turned off the movie immediately that scene was ended and I'd be a jollier man today, less scared by the inhumane cruelty of French cinema. So in conclusion although it was fun seeing someone I know in a movie, I cannot unqualifiedly recommend this particular film.

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