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Paris, je t'aime [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In PARIS, JE T?AIME, celebrated directors from around the world, including the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Gurinder Chadha, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Alexander Payne and Olivier Assayas, have come together to portray Paris in a way never before imagined. Made by a team of contributors as cosmopolitan as the city itself, this portrait of the city is as diverse as its creators' backgrounds and nationalities. With each director telling the story of an unusual encounter in one of the city's neighborhoods, the vignettes go beyond the 'postcard' view of Paris to portray aspects of the city rarely seen on the big screen.An outstanding host of actors including Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Fanny Ardant, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte, Bob Hoskins, Juliette Binoche, Emily Mortimer, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Rufus Sewell, Barbet Schroeder, Ludivine Sagnier, Gena Rowlands, Miranda Richardson and Steve Buscemi, grace these vignettes with their larger-than-life personas. Their performances add even deeper resonance to this affectionate love letter to one of the world's most transcendent cities.

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Even with the impressive talent involved, Paris, je t'aime could've ended up like a fallen soufflé. Though all 18 films aren't equally successful, they hit the mark more often than not. Romantics anticipating happy love stories set amongst the City of Lights may be disappointed to find that many are quite sad and that some parts of Paris are less inviting than others (each takes place in a different district). Further, the shorts aren't all en Français, since the actors and directors hail from around the world, but their outsider perspectives lend the project depth. The strongest entries are provided by Gurinder Chadha (Quais De Seine), Gus Van Sant (Le Marais), Oliver Schmitz (Place des Fêtes), and Alexander Payne (14ème Arrondissement), but all find interesting ways to explore cultural misunderstandings. In Joel and Ethan Coen's tragic-comic Tuileries, tourist Steve Buscemi angers a couple simply by making eye contact. Like Miranda Richardson in Isabelle Coixet's heartbreaking Bastille, he does all his acting with his expressive face. And while Maggie Gyllenhaal speaks the language adroitly in Olivier Assayas's intriguing Quartier des Enfants Rouges, Nick Nolte (purposefully) mangles it in Alfonso Cuarón's surprisingly weak Parc Monceau. The anthology ends with Payne's audio-postcard, in which Margo Martindale's postal carrier narrates her vacation in awkward, but endearing French. Instead of another person, she falls in love with Paris, simply for allowing her to be herself. It's the perfect finish to a poignant repast, like strawberries dipped in chocolate--sweet, but not cloyingly so. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, Leonor Watling, Ludivine Sagnier, Florence Muller, Bruno Podalydès
  • Directors: Bruno Podalydès
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CITQW2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,931 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paris, je t'aime [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. DEGEORGE VINE VOICE on August 23, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Those with large-screen HDTVs have something of a dilemma here. The Blu-ray version is sharper and more beautiful to look at than the DVD, but it is marred by excessively large and intrusive subtitling for the hearing-impaired. Subtitling is a necessary evil for those of us who do not have a fluent understanding of French, but those of us with hearing do not need to have every sound effect explicated, nor English subtitles for those bits of this film that are spoken in English. Although the subtitling is larger than it needs to be, I would still recommend the Blu-ray version for those who are not bothered by what amounts to closed-captioning rather than standard subtitling. You're also in luck if you can read Spanish, for which standard subtitles are available.

My aggravation with the Blu-ray subtitling led me to do some research, including the reviews here at Amazon; and I found contradictory and ambiguous remarks regarding the subtitling available on the DVD, which is entirely understandable because the DVD itself is confusing in this regard. To resolve the matter, I rented a copy of the DVD; and the following are my findings, which I hope will clear this up for customers:

If you simply play the movie on DVD without going through subtitle setup, you will see normal English subtitles; however, if you go through setup, you will see only a choice between Spanish and English SDH (or "Off"); and if you choose English SDH, you are stuck with the extraneous and distracting information on screen.
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Paris is a city of light, lovers, art and beauty. And "Paris, Je T'aime" explores all the sides of the city in in eighteen brief fiolms, all set in various arrondissements of Paris, and directed by some brilliantly underrated directors. And they seem to be about love -- often it's a person, but each one is also an ode to Paris itself.

A somewhat lonely Denver mailwoman (Margo Martindale) makes her first trip to Paris, and recounts how "I fell in love with Paris, and Paris fell in love with me." A mime spreads colour and mischief on his way to love. Two strangers fall in love in a bar. A medic learns that a dying man is in love with her, and seeking her out inadvertantly led to his death at the hands of a racist gang.

A young boy leaves his misogynistic pals behind, to seek love with a young Muslim girl. A pair of British people visit the tomb of Oscar Wilde in Pere-Lachaise, an American actress falls for her drug dealer, and a young nanny's dismal living conditions are a stark contrast to that of the people she works for. All these -- and more -- are intertwined gently in the finale.

But two stand out especially. Tom Tykwer's includes a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) receiving a call from his American actress girlfriend (Natalie Portman). She tells him, "Our spring was wonderful but summer is over now and we missed out on autumn... our love fell asleep, and the snow took it by surprise." In his sorrow, he thinks back to how they met, and how their relationship continued... and gets a surprise.

And Vincenzo Natali turns in a bloody, gothic love story. A young American tourist (Elijah Wood) is walking alone at night, when he steps in a pool of blood.
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Directed by a slew of the very best directors (Alfonso Cuaron, The Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne to name a few), "Paris Je t'aime" is a mixed bag of short vignettes about the who's, the why's and the wherefore's of love set in the City of Love: Paris.
As is usually the case in this type of enterprise, the directors with the best scripts and the best technique and vision come off the best. The amazing thing is that producers Emmanuel Benbihy and Claudie Ossard have double-handedly breathed new life in what was thought of as a pretty much dead, at least in its commercial art form entity
...the short film, by assembling 18 films made by 21 directors.
In one of the best and most effective and affecting, "Bastille," a man (Sergio Castellito) on the verge of leaving his wife (Miranda Richardson) for his mistress learns that the wife is terminally ill and decides to stay with her. The main character's wall-to-wall stream-of-consciousness takes us through the whole story in voice-over: "by acting like I was in love, I fell in love with my wife again."
In "14ème Arrondissement," directed by Alexander Payne, a middle-aged American mail carrier from Denver, who diligently studied French as she prepared for the trip of a lifetime to Paris, walks around the city sharing her impressions in voice-over. She talks about her lonely life, the beautiful scenery, her happiness at being in Paris but her sadness at having to experience it alone. But, sitting in a Paris park one day she experiences a sudden epiphany: a life affirming and life changing epiphany that she will without a doubt take home with her to Denver.
Acting-wise, along with those mentioned above, Ben Gazzara, Gena Rowlands, Gaspard Ulliel, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, and Fanny Ardant...
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