Nathalie…: A woman suspects her husband is having an affair so she pays a prostitute to seduce him and tell her everything… yes, that’s how the French do it! You’ve probably noticed the biggest flaw already; why would you persevere so hard with a serial-cheater husband? At times it starts to feel like an audio-descriptive porno, and when it’s not being racy there’s plenty trivial footage of the characters with no real character development. Fade to blacks are inexplicably overused. There was one good joke, but I doubt it was intentional: Fanny Ardant plays a gynecologist. It’s been re-made by Hollywood as “Chloe” with some big names behind it – Reitman, Neeson and Julianne Moore – although why anyone wanted to re-make it is beyond me. It’s pretty boring, banal and hard to get your head around. Married people: do they all do stuff like that?
Les Clefs De Bagnole: experimental film about making a film of a guy looking everywhere for his car keys. Even though almost nobody has heard of this feature, nearly every famous French actor you know shows up at some point. The ending’s revealed in the first two minutes, however the fast pace of their epic adventure mean you don’t really care. It brings up strange movie-related observations that viewers often miss: over-use of extras, continuity, presumptions, time lapses – even when the characters eat. It’s not an easy watch as they go from one crazy idea to the next, and the random segments of meta-film, interviews with the public, clay-mation, animation and sound effects don’t help. On the upside, this little gem looks great, has a witty script and is laden with gags – although they don’t all hit the mark. Most critics totally slated this, which is pretty harsh as it’s nowhere near as bad as they make out. The tagline on all promo material was “Don’t watch this, it’s crap” which shows how seriously it’s supposed to be taken. Experimental and undeniably French under-rated comedy that should keep you laughing, or at least smiling.