Dans Paris

Pricked, perhaps, by the violent critical reaction to the invasive, incestuous excursions of his Georges Batailles adaptation, ‘Ma Mère’, the talented young French director Christophe Honoré lightens up for his latest drama, where he invokes and embraces the jump-cut, improvisatory and chic-ly attitudinising spirit of his beloved French New Wave. Playing thoughtful cinematic games with the personas of his two lead actors, he casts heart-throb Romain Duris as the volatile, depressive Paul, older sibling to dreamboat Louis Garrel’s flighty charmer Jonathan, who share floors and confidences in their father’s Paris flat.

Auteurists might point out the director’s continuing fascination here with the themes of grieving and inheritance or with the complications of expressing personal desires or feelings within a family context, but, in truth, ‘Dans Paris’ is as much about the fun to be had exploring the polarities of ‘cool’ against the backdrop of the iconic French capital, here rendered, seductively, by cinematographer Jean-Louis Vialard, as a memorable montage of cinéaste location quotes and movie hommages.

Just as Honoré suggests movement through jiggling timeframes in his examination of Paul’s troubled relationship with his demonstrative girlfriend, Anna (Joanna Preiss) or Jonathan’s serial sexual conquests, so does his movie gain added depth (and levity) by examining present concerns and modes through the refractive lens of ’60s cinema. It’s the sort of movie in which a young Belmondo could walk into and feel right at home. Certainly, Truffaut veterans Guy Marchand and Marie-France Pisier do, offering touching, amusing and enviably economic cameos as the sweetly indulgent father and as the flouncing mother respectively.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday May 4 2007
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Christophe Honoré
Screenwriter: Christophe Honoré
Cast: Romain Duris
Louis Garrel
Guy Marchand
Joana Preiss
Alice Butaud
Marie-France Pisier
Helena Noguerra
Judith El Zein
Annabelle Hettmann
Mathieu Funck-Brentano
Lou Rambert Preiss
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