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Games of Love and Chance


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Editorial Reviews

A sensitive, daringly original and deeply human portrait of a group of teenagers living in the projects outside Paris and surviving in a world marginalized by society. Set during preparations for a school production, it captures their affections, quarrels and jealousies as well as the budding romance between shy Krimo and Lydia, the fiery blonde star. Krimo, a pre-thug with great, big dreams forms a tight crew with his friends that carries its weight around their dangerous ‘hood. Confident and sassy, Lydia is a romantic, stunning beauty driven by passion. Friends throughout their lives, as they move into adolescence, Krimo realizes he has fallen in love. Using the show as a way to get closer to Lydia, Krimo persuades his friend, Rachid, to give up the lead role. Krimo wants Lydia and he's far too smitten to be scared of looking ridiculous in front of his crew. Rejection, seduction, betrayal, and love are the heart of this universal coming-of-age story.

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Product Details

  • Actors:  Sara Forestier, Sabrina Ouazani Osman Elkharraz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMHWVE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,580 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Games of Love and Chance" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andres C. Salama on January 18, 2008
Format: DVD
This French film, also released as L'Esquive in some countries, is a quite disheartening look at life in the public housing projects outside Paris. In a crumbling neighbourhood with a majority of immigrants from Northern Africa, a high school tries to produce a play by Pierre Marivaux (1688-1763). The heart of the film is the budding romance between the vivacious blonde Lydia (one of the few "native" French living in the neighbourhood) and the shy and painfully inarticulate Krimo, who is ridiculized by his thuggish friends for taking a part in the play. All the kids speak in an unintelligible slang, which makes a contrast with the classical French of Marivaux. I wrote it was disheartening (despite not being a drama) because it shows that the marginalized inhabitants of the projects have an almost nil chance of breaking into the mainstream of French society. Thoughtful and worth seeing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Audra Thomas on April 20, 2009
Format: DVD
I very much enjoyed this film, in that its docu-drama, real-time look and feel, at once envelops the viewer and then pulls the viewer right into the action. I was truly uncertain if this was a scripted movie or one that relied (heavily) on improvisation... so "real" do the fast-as-fire dynamics among the wonderful young actors seem. This film, it is true, offers little hope for the young protaganists, living in the real,present-time outskirts of Paris, in their cocoon-ish "public-housing/projects"-world.

For me, the real "truth" of this film is offered by the peer-societal censure of Lydia, the blond, beautiful, passionate young European-looking girl living side-by-side her co-habitants of the projects... all darker-complected and from Muslim Norhtern Africa. Lydia is truly the agent(e)-provocateur/teuse of this film... without wishing it for herself: the blond exotic among the throng of those from "outside", who comprise the majority in the closed, limited world of the projects. Lydia has to be the Star.. in her class' mounting of Marivaux' "Les Jeux de l'Amour et du Hasard" because she is the Star in the lives of all her peers in the projects... she is a Star by-default. Yet, her stardom comes at a price.Her beauty and uniqueness make her the frien-emy of all those who know her.She is accused of leading-on her young childhood friend, Krimo, when his feelings for her change into those of a young man entering adulthood, and she is so startled by the revelation of his new feelings that she is caught totally off-guard.Krimo had asked to be cast as her opposite in the Marivaux play... just to be closer to her... but the "acting" experience is beyond him, rendering him a self-conscious, mumbling, inept failure, ridiculed by the class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on August 6, 2009
Format: DVD
This film from Tunisian-born French director Abdel Kechiche immerses the viewer in the world of its teenage characters, where boys and girls move in packs and live by restrictive tribal codes. It's a world where adults are mostly elsewhere - if not in jail - and there is nothing but time on a teenager's hands. Differences of opinion rapidly escalate into shouting matches, fierce loyalties and jealous rivalries are the norm, and intense disputes spring up over conflicting romantic interests.

The thread that runs through the film involves rehearsals for a high school production of French playwright Marivaux' "Game of Love and Chance," a play with a comic portrayal of love that mirrors the one that develops between the two main characters - Krimo and Lydia. While Lydia revels in the delights of flirtation on stage, she is far less certain how to deal with the infatuation of her real-life counterpart, Krimo, who is unable to do anything but moon over her in helpless infatuation. The attempts of Krimo's friend to resolve what he sees as a serious problem creates a comedy of its own - until interrupted by some heavy-handed police officers.

At almost two hours, the film is overlong for its story line, and some of the shouting matches get to be repetitive. Shot in closeup and cut with the pace of an MTV video, the film offers few moments for reflection. But it captures well the self-absorbed world of urban teenagers, filled with high intensity emotions and equal parts frustration and boredom. For that alone, it's well worth seeing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on February 17, 2008
Format: DVD
The socialist or perhaps Marxist viewpoint is expressed by the kids' teacher early enough to confirm what one already suspects: there's not going to be much light anywhere in this tunnel. Realist cinema of this nature was groundbreaking in the mid-20th century. This contemporary film's writer and director seem to expect audiences to be shocked by the characters' adoption of supposedly American ghetto slang and behavior. Or to be less than wearied by the petty, territorial machinations that are supposedly as close as these characters will come to any real sort of power. The only silver lining comes with the implication that art at least provides an outlet or even hope. But even this is pretty much smashed. So - shall we all buy guns and just end it now? I wish I'd turned the thing off instead of basing my expectations on the good reviews on the film's box - apparently another example of reviewers positively rating a film for its message rather than for any true artistic merit.
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