When the Cat's Away…

Film

Time Out says

When make-up artist Chloé (Clavel) takes a week's holiday, the only person who'll look after her beloved cat Gris-Gris is Mme Renée (Lecalm), an eccentric old biddy who promptly loses the animal during the girl's absence. In addition to Chloé and her gay flat-mate Michel (Py), the search party which Mme Renée helps to mobilise includes numerous elderly matrons and Djamel (Soualem), a kindly if somewhat naive Arab who develops a crush on Chloé. She, however, finds herself taking an unexpected shine to a local young drummer. The third feature from writer/director Klapisch is a beautifully observed comedy vaguely in the Rohmer tradition: light, spontaneous, seemingly inconsequential, but packed with deft, delicate insights into loneliness, love, the comforts of community and the changing nature of Paris. Crucial to the film's emotional pull is an unsentimental generosity extended to each character. The naturalistic performances help no end in this respect, while the affection stretches even to Gris-Gris, filmed, inspirationallly, to the strains of Al Green's 'So Tired of Being Alone'. Witty, touching, refreshingly nonchalant, and very French.

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