Mireille's Musings - April 14, 2011

My Favorite Foreign Films

Beautiful and evocative films for the cinephiles in all of us.

The Past: I’d like Asghar Farhadi’s previous film, A Separation though Le Passé is set around Paris and deals with the issues of infidelity and sex and mixed mariages and tackles these universal themes. The wife is the amazing Bérénice Béjo (made famous by The Artist) who is French and opinionated and makes the film as Tahar Rahim who plays the husband is miscast for the part and rather takes away from this little gem of a film.

Wadjda: First feature directed by a woman from Saudi Arabia. A triangular relationship between a couple and their young daughter showing society as a cage especially at school with the women ruling and restricting with great hypocrisy, but the moments of rebellion are subtle and following what goes on in that young girl who wants a bike makes it a charming, touching film to see.

Les Yeux de sa Mere: A wonderful (belgian) film dealing with a writer working on his next book involving an atypical family. With Catherine Deneuve and 3 other wonderful actresses and an unusual way of weaving a family saga where lies, regrets and career priorities change the life of many of the members with lots of suffering on the way. If only the need to show and talk about cigarette smoking were not so prevalent. One wonders what the film would be without it.

La Nostra Vita: A very good Italian film that should give hope to Italian cinema. An honest and objective approach to a tale of a typical Italian family dealing with injustice and how family/friends’ support and children’s love give the main character (super acting by Elio Germano) the strength to accomplish his goal. Lots of touching details showing the strengths and weaknesses of the modern family.