Friday, January 4, 2008

Ensemble, c'est tout (aka Hunting and Gathering) (2007)

Camille (Audrey Tautou) is a troubled, anorexic artist who works as a cleaner and lives alone in a tiny unheated apartment. Franck (Guillaume Canet) is a hard-working, short-tempered chef who shares a big apartment with the sensitive and anal renentive Philibert (Laurent Stocker). Franck’s grandmother Paulette (Fran├žoise Bertin) is dealing with old age and the after-effects of a broken hip: losing her home and cherished garden and pets. Franck loves his grandmother, but he works 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, and drinks heavily is his spare time. As this strange rectangle of lives slowly meld together, the story unfolds patiently, as only a non-Hollywood script can. You never know where this movie is going the turn. The acting by the four leads is excellent. Another unique French slice-of-life film by prolific actor turned directed Claude Berri. Berri is 73 but has still got it. Rating: 3 of 4 reviewed 9 Dec 2007

"A charming and uplifting film with engaging performances and a music score ripe for humming, even though it is not director Claude Berri's most complete work."
- Urban Cinefile Critics (Urban Cinefile)

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