Currently browsing the "François Ozon" tag.

Frantz

French writer/director François Ozon has made some of my favorite films these last few years. With The New Girlfriend, In the House,  and Potiche he’s shown himself to be very adept with comedy and unusual situations. But with his new film Frantz, he enters the realm of historical drama and shows he is equally skilled in more serious films. A semi-remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s Broken Lullaby, it’s set just after the first World War, in a small German town. It’s the story of Anna (Paula Beer), a beautiful, young German woman whose fiancé Frantz (Anton von Lucke) died in the war and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a sad young Frenchman, who comes to town having been close friends with Frantz in Paris before the war. She discovers him as he is laying flowers on Frantz’s grave, and he becomes a source of happy memories for her and for Frantz’s grieving parents.

The New Girlfriend

Written and directed by one of my favorite French directors, François Ozon (Potiche, In the House), The New Girlfriend is loosely adapted from a story by the wonderful mystery writer Ruth Rendell. But it isn’t really a mystery. It’s more a psychological thriller about a woman’s loss of her BFF and her finding a new one in the most unexpected place. It’s about love and loss and gender identity and the fine line between attraction and friendship. And it is extremely well done.

Potiche

Potiche is a delightful chique flique or peut-être une comédie romantique starring two of France’s biggest stars, Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu. Mostly it is Deneuve’s show, as the trophy wife (la potiche) Suzanne Pujol who realizes her real potential when she takes the reins at her family’s umbrella factory (a nod to Deneuve’s classic Umbrellas of Cherbourg) after her philandering husband has a heart attack. Set in 1977, the film is full of women’s lib moments and silly 70s pop culture references, including a scene where Deneuve and Depardieu disco à la Saturday Night Fever.