Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Lady In Paris

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema just opened and that’s where I will be spending some time over the next two weeks.

Director Ilmar Raag’s A Lady in Paris stars iconic 84 year-old actress Jeanne Moreau, whose career spans over 60 years and more than 140 films.  Here, she turns in a great performance as Frida, a flinty ex-patriot Estonian, who has been living alone in Paris and is in need of home-help, not only to take care of her, but to prevent her from committing suicide.
Frida’s former lover, who takes care of her affairs, hires a meek Estonian woman to come to Paris and be her maid, but the match is like oil and water.

What appeals to me in French films is the depth of emotion and character that is so often lacking in our fast-paced, inch-deep fare. 

I don’t know if A Lady in Paris will have a release in the U.S., but, if not, it will be a loss to audiences, who appreciate an honest look at both the horrors and triumphs experienced in old-age.

I give A Lady in Paris a 3+ out of 5 and Moreau a 5 for her true artistry and vitality.

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