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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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by BRIANNA
I was somewhat disappointed in this DVD as the plot is somewhat slow moving at times and does not always hold one's interest. Read morePublished on May 17, 2010 by R. Howard Courtney
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... Read morePublished on March 9, 2010 by Michael Kerjman
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. Read morePublished on February 12, 2010 by Willy D. Reviewer
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. Read morePublished on November 7, 2008 by Bradley F. Smith