June 08, 2011

Le nom des gens (France 2010)

Woody Allen has many admirers. French director Michel Leclerc is one of them. In recent interviews he confessed how much he would like to make films like him. But judging from his second film "Le nom des gens", he still has a long way to go because even second-rate Woody Allen films are still superior.

True, Leclerc does manage to tackle a serious subject (racism) in a refreshingly light-hearted way and the relationship between an older man and a younger woman could indeed be straight out of a Woody Allen film. But despite some good scenes, the film fails to convince. Its starts as a smart comedy about prejudice but becomes a rather conventional love story that is not quite believable. It is the kind of film that tries to be serious but is never more than just "nice".

Nonetheless, there is a reason to see the film: Sara Forrestier is irresistably charming as an attractive young immigrant who sleeps with rascists to "convert them". As improbable as that may sound - if anybody could make that happen, it would be her...


Make Love, not War: Sara Forestier and Jacques Gamblin

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