23 November 2007

The movie I last saw

When my friend Jon first thought about starting a blog, he envisioned a kind of screening log. Jon wrote, "I would chronicle the movies I saw, and through that include little anecdotes about my life as it happens…I still want to include this feature, which will provide a brief musing on films (current and otherwise) as I see them." Here is the movie he last saw.

Recently, I was reading a France-Amérique article about the film Les égarés (Strayed) for French class, and I stupidly realized that the film is real, a film I can watch. Netflix has it, as well the other French film that I searched for (Le goût des autres).

Strayed (2003), directed by André Téchiné, is based on Gilles Perrault's novel The Boy with Grey Eyes. The film stars a Emmanuelle Béart (8 Women, Manon of the Spring) and Gaspard Ulliel (Paris, I Love You, A Very Long Engagement). The film is set in 1940 France during the German invasion. On the road after fleeing Paris, a recently widowed schoolteacher (Béart) and her two young children meet 17-year-old Yvan (Ulliel), who helps them find an abandoned house to live in. At first Odile is wary of Yvan—the children like him—but she soon realizes that it is with his help that her small family is able to survive. Apart from grainy black-and-white clips of the war, the film is believable—one thing I always ask myself. The supporting actors seem, at times, like they're just in costume. But Béart, who looks a little like Fiona Apple, is stunning. And Ulliel, who looks a little like Ashton Kutcher, Andy Samberg, and a certain bartender at Sweet Paradise, does "reckless" well. And there is chemistry. When Yvan says the cigarette in his mouth is his last and suggests he and Odile share it, you want her to say yes. When Yvan suggests that they drink wine, you want Odile to say yes. In one scene, Yvan has just come back to the house with three fish that he caught, and there is an exchange between him and Odile in the kitchen.

YVAN: Apart from the fact I can help with food…does anything else about me interest you?

ODILE: Yes, your personality. It unsettles us a little, but we all need to be disturbed.

YVAN: Even you?

ODILE: Yes, even me. Got a cigarette?

Rated NR. 93 minutes.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I love the tribute. I need to do another wrap-up ... Margot at the Wedding, No Country for Old Men, I'm Not There ... and then Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct from Thanksgiving (we decided sex thrillers was a good genre). I miss you, and wish you would visit.