CANNES: "Paris, Je'Taime" Review

by | May 19, 2006 | Comments

There is a certain cinematic romanticism about the city of Paris, and with "Paris, Je’Taime," eighteen international directors have composed a collective ode to the magical, innately lyrical place. The result, while bursting with perhaps a few too many stories, is well worth a viewing for the performances and stories that are at once haunting, charming, relatable and life-affirming.

Given only a few minutes to present their segment, each director spins their own Parisian love song within a different district of the sprawling city. There are the requisite stories of meet-cute and first attraction, the resurfacing of old flames, and validation of relationships taken for granted. Those scenes are charming enough, especially with an omnipresent tinkling of French accordions in the background to give the film an airy, sentimental feeling; but love is not always sweet, and the stories that deftly examine non-romantic love, and even loss and longing, prove to be the most moving of the entire collection.

The Coen brothers’ submission, starring eternal hangdog Steve Buscemi, alights on a lonely American tourist waiting for the subway in the City of Love. His handy guidebooks inform him of the sights, sensations, and STDs of Parisian life; that he falls victim in humorous style to the very sentiments that are popularly associated with Paris (art, amorous couples, and cute little tots) merits hilarious sympathy and lends the film a sly self-awareness.

Outsider-extraordinaire Alexander Payne‘s scene follows another lonely American tourist (Margo Martindale) through Paris as she narrates her trip in comically terrible French, as an assignment for her adult education language class back home. Middle-aged and single, her wistful soliloquy seems at first pitiable, but is heartwarmingly revealed to be something altogether different.

Despite its often comic, frequently celebratory takes on romantic love, "Paris, Je’Taime" doesn’t forget the emotional ache of love’s failings and drawbacks. A working class mother (Catalina Sandino Moreno) must leave her beloved newborn at daycare to care for a rich baby across town, only to be reminded constantly of the distance between them. An elderly couple (Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands) reignite their electric chemistry when they meet in a cafe to finalize divorce. And in the film’s most powerful scene, a mother (Juliette Binoche) mourning the loss of her young son is overcome with grief at the mere remembrance of his flights of imagination, and conjures his imaginary cowboy in order to gain closure.

Tag Cloud

ITV CBS aliens TCA Certified Fresh SDCC Universal Country TV Land RT History Best and Worst sitcom biography Comedy Winners Mystery APB robots Interview Spring TV Tomatazos President cinemax Fox News TBS USA VH1 Bravo Kids & Family based on movie cults Comic Book Adult Swim SundanceTV A&E Showtime BET singing competition Horror Superheroes DC Universe First Look docudrama FOX justice league Mindy Kaling Rock serial killer adventure historical drama Sony Pictures Biopics Pixar Valentine's Day Nominations Awards Logo Cosplay HBO DC streaming service MTV Western CNN cats Martial Arts USA Network Opinion Infographic Fall TV zombie Writers Guild of America Red Carpet TCA 2017 MSNBC Hulu TNT Pirates 21st Century Fox Winter TV GoT Photos Video Games Musicals Sundance ABC medical drama Toys talk show IFC Films Ellie Kemper Countdown Calendar Fantasy politics crime thriller Lucasfilm E3 E! travel supernatural The Arrangement GIFs TCM ratings Christmas El Rey The CW war American Society of Cinematographers Music X-Men Character Guide Summer harry potter Creative Arts Emmys Holidays Grammys police drama TLC DC Comics PBS science fiction romance Britbox AMC vampires Year in Review Lifetime Mary Tyler Moore 007 TruTV Election cooking Oscars thriller TIFF diversity Freeform Cartoon Network Reality Competition OWN Spike LGBTQ BBC America 24 frames Acorn TV Superheroe dramedy Trailer Podcast boxoffice crime Rocky Star Trek Marvel VICE GLAAD ESPN Premiere Dates BBC spy thriller Rom-Com NBC Animation Watching Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Comedy Central Paramount binge Sundance Now DirecTV sports Thanksgiving Nickelodeon 2015 NYCC Netflix FXX Extras Sci-Fi technology Emmys CW Seed Pop Box Office political drama Star Wars Disney Channel cops TV Paramount Network Lionsgate crime drama composers Ghostbusters ABC Family Masterpiece transformers social media Amazon YA golden globes dc FX See It Skip It Polls and Games discovery unscripted 2016 History CBS All Access Warner Bros. Dark Horse Comics Nat Geo Tumblr Trivia Set visit Disney CMT dceu Musical Food Network Starz psycho YouTube Red Sneak Peek 45 Action PaleyFest Esquire 2017 Crackle Reality what to watch comiccon 20th Century Fox Drama Syfy Marathons Teen IFC period drama WGN Schedule Super Bowl