Movie Review: "Paris"

The film, written and directed by Cedric Klapisch, received excellent reviews. Stephen Holden concluded his analysis in The New York Times review by writing:

"There are enough intersecting characters from different classes and backgrounds in Paris to evoke the city as a complex, healthy organism, whose parts are all connected. If it is too lighthearted to show the actual political and economic machinery behind it, its celebration of how well that machinery works produces a pleasant afterglow."

My expectation was that the City of Lights would be displayed in an exceptional manner. Take it from me, it is not. I don't claim to know Paris well, but I have visited the city on several occasions. In my opinion, its beauty is predicated on the splendor and uniformity of its architecture. Unfortunately, the panoramic views from the sky in this film are so small that the magnificence of the city and that harmonized architecture is lost.

Pierre (Romain Duris) is a dancer in poor health due to a heart condition. His divorced sister, Elise (Juliette Binoche), and her three children move in with him to tend to his needs. Elise decides to find a girlfriend for Pierre who has his eye on a woman in an apartment across the street. The most interesting character is Roland (Fabrice Luchini), a professor who stalks one of his students, Laetitia (Melanie Laurent).

With all of the advance publicity about "Paris," I was surprised to feel so bored after having seen it. The movie is a French version of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," but Altman's characters and stories are far more interesting. The film is playing at the IFC Center on Sixth Avenue at West Third Street. The theater has the most comfortable seats and often the best movies. On this occasion, however, it was only the seats that I enjoyed. (In French, with English subtitles.)