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3 out of 5 stars
Dans Paris
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2008
Format: DVD
DANS PARIS does have a certain air of pretension...that much is certain. It feels at times a bit prose-like and self-conscious, but I urge any viewer to sift through that mixture because you will be rewarded by a genuinely good film, brimming with peculiar intimate character interactions, and a kind of sad humor.

DANS PARIS is essentially an interlaced flashback concerning the degradation of a relationship between Paul (Duris) and Anna (Preiss). Anna has just left Paul who, annihilated by the separation, moves back with his father in Paris. His younger brother Jonathan, a casual student, still lives in his father's apartment and spends most of his time womanizing and fooling around. Honore's film becomes a meditation on how people choose to suffer, how others choose to allow or challenge our model of suffering, the inevitability and incongruity of healing despite our best efforts to wallow, and is none the less a compelling structural exercise.

DANS PARIS, the fifth film in as many years by writer/director Christophe Honore (Ma Mere), is through and through a constant collapsing and building of the fourth wall, both attitudinally and structurally. It is at once a Brechtian display of self-awareness and reflexion (Jonathon talking to the audience), and with its counter cannon of bare intimacy (insular moments between quarrelling lovers, Paul singing along to music in his underwear) it is a film that is equally, if not more so, a work of inclusion.

And for anyone who appreciates classic french cinema, DANS PARIS will be an alternately melancholic and delightful love letter to the French New Wave...and I mean in spades!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I'm going to start out by saying that I really liked "Dans Paris" although I'm not particularly sure that it is a cohesive, or even a very good, movie. Louis Garrel is a compelling young actor who has made some interesting choices, and it was his presence here that drew me to the film. However, those who might complain about the plot's ambiguity or the lack of a plot altogether are not off base. A throwback to the French New Wave movement, "Dans Paris" seems more successful as an experience than as a narrative. Although there are many subjects to explore--family disintegration, marital strife, siblings reconnecting as adults, psychosexual politics, depression and suicide--the film ultimately floats along like a breezy entertainment never really examining anything in depth.

When Paul (Romain Duris) separates from his wife, he returns to Paris to live with his father and brother (Garrel). Paul's instability and attempts to harm himself are a major concern as the family has already been ripped apart by a previous incident of suicide. In the healing process, Paul must learn to communicate with his estranged wife Anna and reconnect with a mother he hardly sees. Compelling stuff, to be sure, but it's approached from unexpected angles. I'm still not sure why the story is presented from Garrel's viewpoint and why he breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to the viewer. That's a terrific device--but only when employed with a purpose.

The film does have its charms, however. The final scenes between the brothers are sweet and surprisingly touching. In these simple moments, you can see flashes of a great movie! I also found a strange musical interlude between Paul and Anna absolutely captivating and heartfelt. And then there's Garrel. I'm not sure what movie he is in but it doesn't always seem to be "Dans Paris." His sexual exploits have an attractive whimsy but seem disconnected from the principle story line. But he's so appealing, you might not care (although he should bathe between interludes, it's only polite)! A recommendation from me, but if you're new to this genre--I'd recommend you start with the classics of New Wave. KGHarris, 9/10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
new wave movies are about relationships and intimacy. dans paris does a wonderful job of showing how the ability to attach as an adult is fostered in our family life as children. the only people these two brothers can really attach to are each other. the older brother was abandoned physiclly by his beloved sister, emotionally by his father, physically and emotionally by his mother and has come to fear abandonment again too much to be able to trust his girlfriend to be faithful and sets her up to fail. the brother is emotionally undeveloped because his abandonment occurred when he was quite young. none of this is spelled out. but the confusion and struggle of this very painful family life and their inabilty to move forward is beautifully developed and the emotions are palpable. i think that fear of losing the people we love is a more freqent obsticle to achieving intimacy than many people realize and the inaility to trust and take the risk of loving is very common. this is a very powerful exploration of how certain problems in being able to love and commit or even just grow up occur. i found it a deeply moving film..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
Format: DVD
I am beginning by admitting I love Paris and I love the French so therefore I am biased to begin with and even so I give three stars probably to a two star movie. It starts somewhat promising with a great looking French guy talking directly to us, the viewing audience, and that was original. It went downhill from there. Towards the end of the movie some heartfelt things were said but just for a moment and then never elaborated on. Worst is the ending which was a non ending; just looked like another scene another conversation and zap (mercifully) it's over. If you like a movie that looks like every mundane detail of real life this is for you. Sadly, not enough footage of the actual city..Paris is so beautiful and there were some incredible glimpses here and there and I watched it all just for that alone.
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on August 28, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
*May Contain Spoilers*

If I had believed the negative reviews and been influenced by them, I would have denied myself a wonderful film experience. "Dans Paris" Garrel and Duris were excellent and I loved their on screen rapport. The entire cast was superb. Duris, in fact, could have taken his role way over-the-top but thankfully didn't and instead gave us a gem of a performance.

Special mention to Guy Marchand, who was wonderfully sweet and sympathetic--in a gruff way--in this. His character was the glue of this rather fragmented family but because of him they were a family nonetheless.

Christophe Honoré's direction was always interesting as was the film's editing. I particularly liked the non-linear handling of Paul and Anna's relationship and its beginning and end. Plus the way Paris looks in winter is bleakly gorgeous. I found it was affecting my mood and pulling me further into this film. I would watch "Dans Paris" again just for those city scenes.

I absolutely loved this film.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2008
Format: DVD
A great jazz soundtrack underscores this forlorn romance which seems to be something about two brothers and their dramas with their women, plus a sadsack father and his ex-wife. Plot? You got me. The point? Couldn't say. Contemporary Paris doesn't look so hot here.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was somewhat disappointed in this DVD as the plot is somewhat slow moving at times and does not always hold one's interest. While I am familiar with the main actors in the movie and watch many foreign films, I would probably put this near the end of my list of movies to watch.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
Format: DVD
This work is about family issues and very intimate moments brothers share together also this line is well hidden beneath psycho-sexual visible activities both males demonstrate less or more explicitly on a screen.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The French are self-absorbed in dramas that deal with couples breaking up. It seems to be a national fixation in the French film industry.

In these films, it doesn't matter which partner is to blame, it is the same rehashed script: Silence between the couple tells the audience that they are passive/aggressively fighting. Then the couple improvs a few lines. Next, family members have to give their opinions (and they have their short-comings too). Then everyone improvs more lines. Typical dialog in films like this: Him "Do you still love me?" (pause) Her "I don't know. Do you still love me?" (pause) Him "Would it make a difference?" (pause) Her "Would it make a difference to you?" (pause) Him "I don't know." (pause) Her "Neither do I." pause...

French directors always like to do close-ups on the faces: "More can be said with a subtle raise of your eyebrow, than two pages of dialog". That may be, but oh please, give us good dialog and quit the rapid cutting from face to face -- their expressions are blank!

By the time you are finished with a French film like this one, you definitely understand that the cast and director started off with an "idea" -- a couple breaking up -- and ad libbed it from there. There are at least a dozen films like this one on the Fench market. All the same. Redundant.

You have to think Jerry Lewis is a genius to like this film.
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10 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Only the French.

I mean, I wish to God they "didn't" live up to every cliché chucked at their cinema making, but this is absolute pretentious dross on a scale that is difficult to believe.

Every joke about French cinema is painfully evident on 'Inside Paris' - the semi naked sexless actress talking deeply about life and philosophy as her ludicrous lover does his tie and is contemptuous of her in that stupid male French way. Then of course he can't live without her - so he cries - he tries suicide, but unfortunately for us all, it doesn't work. His brother is a feckless idiot. The men are so weak and whiny in this movie; you just want to smack them over the head with a copper-bottomed frying pan. Characters talk to the camera and look at the audience for no discernible reason. The story (what there is of one) is about obsession - when the only obsession you have is with the fast-forward button on the remote control - please find me some redeeming factor - please - and of course - your remote can't find any - because they're not there. Your remote control tries to empathize with you by giving a sympathetic look - suckered again - eh pal!

In some respects this film's awfulness isn't funny. There have been superb French films in the last few years - of course there has - "La Vie En Rose", "36", "Moliere" and "8 Women" spring to mind - but this movie is one of the very real reasons why French cinema is greeted not with interest - but with a snigger and a titter. Which is a crying shame. It really is. Marion Cotillard has taken an award for "La Vie En Rose" and it's not surprising - it's simply one of the most astonishing performances given in cinema in 20 years! I kid you not! So why, oh why, do the French then go and produce obvious pretentious dross like this?? There's a scene where the obsessed man phones his woman and (wait for it) they 'sing' (yes sing) some 'philosophy' down the phone - as each actor tries desperately to look like this is normal and very deep! It has to be seen to be believed!

Please Please Please! Do not rent or buy this appalling piece of crap! It makes Hostel Part 2 look like high art! Castration or this - take the chop mate!
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