Catherine Deneuve

Cannes 2015: La tête haute is a didactic eulogy to the Nanny State

Perhaps it’s an unfortunate coincidence for the festival opener, French social drama La Tête Haute, that it follows but a year after the adulation apparently garnered by Xavier Dolan’s Mommy at last year’s festival – while the flamboyant Quebec drama received 10 minutes’ standing ovation, this year’s press screening of the more down-to-earth underprivileged mother-son duo from Dunkerque was met by a total of two claps and a single boo…

TIFF 14: ‘3 Coeurs’ is not a credible romance

French filmmaker Benoît Jacquot often crops up in discussions of overlooked auteurs of contemporary French cinema. His work is quiet, understated, and rarely finds a wide audience. Yet, efforts like Farewell My Queen, A Single Girl and The School of Flesh are heralded as among the best French efforts of their respective years. However, for every effort that wins the heart of niche audiences, the rest of his films are divisive and alienating. While a lack of consistency is perhaps working against him, many of his contemporaries are even bigger gambles: François Ozon is responsible for some beautiful films but more of his efforts are outright misses, and even heavyweights like Olivier Assayas deliver as many misses as successes. Perhaps it is the quietness of Jacquot’s style that works against him, his best efforts coming across as understated and his worst as dull.

New on Video: ‘The Young Girls of Rochefort’

Gloriously composed — visually and aurally — The Young Girls of Rochefort is a lyrically light holiday to this provincial town, with its assortment of pleasant people having their fair share of romantic troubles. Moreover, it’s one of the best musicals the form has ever seen.

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