Les Chansons D'Amour

Les Chansons D'Amour


Reviewed by: Moominkat

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, and 8 Femmes: French cinema enjoys songs with its drama. Of course it’s not unique, Bollywood, Hollywood and even dear ol’ Blighty do this but somehow Summer Holiday isn’t in quite the same league, that’s old school musical cinema. To me the difference seems to be that the French can cover comedy, whimsy, romance, murder, sudden death and sex in song and make it part of the dialogue, without it holding up the story.

Les Chansons d’Amour is set in Paris and concerns the ménage a trois between Ismael (Louis Garrel), Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) and Alice (Clotilde Hesme). It also examines the relationship Ismael has with Julie’s family and goes on to cover the aftermath of a sudden tragedy - the grief, the moving on and how people want others to react or help.

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The actors’ singing is used as soundtrack might be in another film - to convey mood or move the story along. Some song scenes work better than others: for instance the family lunch, or scenes between Ismael and Alice in the office. Others had me wondering how much longer they were going to last. There’s a slight amateurishness to the singing scenes but they are, on occasion, very moving.

This is a melancholy yet affecting tale, beautifully conveying grief and people’s expectations and demands of others. There’s also a hell of a lot of smoking. Another thing that just struck me: I was convinced it was filmed in black and white and had to check…

Reviewed on: 17 Aug 2007
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An exceedingly French musical about a menage a trois in Paris.
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Chris ****

Director: Christophe Honoré

Writer: Christophe Honoré, Gaël Morel

Starring: Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni, Clothilde Hesme, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet

Year: 2007

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


EIFF 2007
French 2011

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