A critical eye on the latest ciné releases
Lost in Paris
Dir: Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel; 83 mins
FROM Jacques Tati falling off his bike in Jour de Fête to that other (more diminutive) giant of physical comedy, Louis de Funès, doing just about anything (including merely raising his eyebrows), French cinema has a long heritage of superb slapstick performers.
The latest to arrive at the top table of knockabout ciné are husband and wife performing and directing duo, Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel. We can say ‘French’ despite her being an Aussie, him Belgian as their films are in French and partlyFrench-made.
Their latest project is about a shy librarian who leaves her snowy Canadian town to visit her long lost aunt Martha who lives in Paris. Gawky and clumsy, she stumbles into the Seine (subsequently ending up the titular ‘lost in Paris’) and later into romance, when a homeless man (played by Abel) crosses her path in more ways than one.
Lost in Paris provides a delightful blend of warmth and daftness, ingenious set-pieces and sight gags, joy and heart-string tugging. Tati’s clowning crown is in safe hands with these two.
A last word for the iconic Emmanuelle Riva, who played Martha in her last ever film role – she died in January 2017 – She appears to be having a ball playing a comedy character as a swansong.
Also out: BPM. This frank telling of the early years of AIDS activism group Act-Up Paris claimed the Cannes Grand Prix this year and will compete as France’s entry at the 2018 Oscars.