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

Stephen King reviews Lifetime Rocky YouTube Red festivals Martial Arts Women's History Month thriller sitcom 2018 scary movies mutant technology NBC Fall TV theme song Arrowverse space political drama Brie Larson ABC Family Summer BBC America Extras spider-man AMC Apple TV Plus biography renewed TV shows Crackle romance 2020 hist Sundance singing competition transformers The Arrangement Showtime historical drama casting Best and Worst Winter TV Christmas VICE Academy Awards Action cats comic zombie crossover Comics on TV period drama CW Seed Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled TV shows MSNBC CNN MTV Set visit Comic Book dramedy IFC Films cartoon Mary Tyler Moore Shondaland First Reviews Cosplay WarnerMedia cults Bravo SDCC YouTube TIFF Hulu Winners Warner Bros. Horror crime drama Teen Marathons Animation Mary Poppins Returns Shudder Baby Yoda ABC police drama Nat Geo anthology ESPN 71st Emmy Awards FXX aliens Rocketman GIFs Opinion LGBT TBS 20th Century Fox FX 24 frames talk show facebook game of thrones batman ghosts Lucasfilm HBO Max TCM E3 what to watch Anna Paquin TLC cancelled TV series robots stand-up comedy TV renewals Turner Classic Movies doctor who Photos Disney+ Disney Plus zombies PaleyFest SXSW movie Toys free movies dc harry potter Musical adaptation FOX Schedule Western animated ITV psychological thriller Kids & Family justice league Film Festival based on movie Sony Pictures Cartoon Network TCA Winter 2020 San Diego Comic-Con Acorn TV mockumentary Hallmark Adult Swim IFC toy story independent television E! Spectrum Originals Emmy Nominations series screen actors guild Watching Series christmas movies First Look Music teaser YouTube Premium Starz Mary poppins romantic comedy Nickelodeon Disney APB Mudbound jamie lee curtis canceled sports book finale indie Star Trek Thanksgiving discovery boxoffice Disney Plus BET National Geographic 21st Century Fox cancelled television supernatural Grammys Countdown war Calendar south america dragons comiccon spanish language Holiday Musicals medical drama Peacock Trailer HBO PBS NYCC USA Amazon Prime Video Syfy Chernobyl Spring TV Apple Nominations Black History Month Film movies Esquire richard e. Grant disaster Sundance TV unscripted Avengers travel Podcast universal monsters 2016 science fiction breaking bad Character Guide Sneak Peek Heroines Amazon Prime Travel Channel comics RT21 Mystery docudrama reboot See It Skip It Rock rotten movies we love Vudu crime Amazon LGBTQ cars American Society of Cinematographers canceled TV shows Creative Arts Emmys Black Mirror Columbia Pictures President Dark Horse Comics 2019 Food Network cooking Polls and Games The Witch strong female leads Disney Channel Disney streaming service Reality Valentine's Day documentary zero dark thirty Quiz kids Country Drama Awards Emmys VH1 CBS All Access foreign Sci-Fi Infographic Tarantino Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sundance Now Spike revenge streaming Logo psycho game show Trophy Talk Paramount Network GLAAD golden globes natural history Netflix Christmas movies 2015 Premiere Dates 007 Oscars sag awards Amazon Studios hispanic Ellie Kemper social media slashers Writers Guild of America OWN cinemax miniseries blockbuster 2017 Super Bowl RT History anime TCA 2017 New York Comic Con Pixar Trivia Song of Ice and Fire Netflix Britbox El Rey Classic Film cops directors FX on Hulu Rom-Com Discovery Channel franchise WGN DC Comics Cannes Superheroes tv talk Video Games TruTV cancelled politics Pop TV Captain marvel Year in Review Pirates The CW TV dceu Endgame DirecTV OneApp The Walking Dead Lifetime Christmas movies Universal Star Wars Marvel Studios BBC spain X-Men Pride Month Interview dogs SundanceTV Epix Tomatazos GoT YA Paramount Crunchyroll versus composers Biopics green book ratings diversity DGA Ovation joker Funimation Marvel award winner werewolf Election binge Tubi CMT Pop witnail Reality Competition blaxploitation A24 spinoff Binge Guide screenings The Purge spy thriller serial killer latino TV Land TNT sequel Turner DC streaming service elevated horror Mindy Kaling vampires USA Network History Fantasy CBS Holidays TCA children's TV Freeform Red Carpet true crime Tumblr crime thriller nature halloween A&E quibi Certified Fresh Comedy Central adventure Awards Tour Pet Sematary Lionsgate Television Academy Fox News name the review video MCU Elton John DC Universe Ghostbusters Masterpiece Apple TV+ Hallmark Christmas movies Superheroe Walt Disney Pictures Box Office Comedy Family 45 Marvel Television