Cécile De France, Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Laura Morante, Claude
Brasseur, Christopher Thompson, Dani, Annelise Hesme and Sydney Pollock
Out to buy on DVD 04/06/07
Spurred on by stories from her
grandmother, Jessica (De France) heads to Paris to find a job in the theatre
district. Here she meets famed pianist Jean-François Lefort (Dupontel), art
collector Jacques Grumberg (Brasseur) and her grandmother's favourite soap
actress Catherine Versen (Lemercier) but each of them have their own problems.
As her grandmother always told her however 'if you can't afford to live in
luxury, you should live around it'.
The artistic side
of Paris and how one girl can connect them all seems like an intriguing and
charming story and you would be right.
Thompson's 'Fauteuils d'orchestre' (Orchestra Seats) shows a lighter side
of Paris as she takes us to the theatre, the concert hall and the auction
house that are in the same area of the French capital. With one protagonist
bringing all these artistic releases together, this ensemble, character driven
piece is nicely written and expertly played.
Telling three separate
stories with Jessica connecting them all, the movie successful interweaves
them and throws in a few supplementary stories along the way as well. The
first tale deals with renowned pianist Jean-François Lefort (Albert Dupontel),
who has being playing the same music and wearing the same ill fitting and
restrictive dinner suites for most of his life. Desperately wanting a change,
much to the grievance of his wife who has forgone her own musical career to
take care of his. Secondly we have Jacques Grumberg, played by Claude Brasseur,
who is about to sell his entire art collection that he, and his now departed
wife gathered together over the course of their long and loving marriage.
With a new and much younger girlfriend, his son Frédéric is finding it hard
to let go and accept what his father is doing, especially when his favourite
piece, an extremely rare and almost priceless statue simply called 'The Kiss',
is the centrepiece of the collection. Lastly we have the story of superstar
soap actress Catherine Versen, played with great gusto by Valérie Lemercier,
who is about to take to the stage in a role very different to that of her
screen persona. Disillusioned with the role that has made her beloved all
over France, he is desperate not to sign a new contract and take her career
in a different direction. That could come in the space of Hollywood director
Brian Sobinski, who is intrigued by the actress after catching her performance
Jessica, played by
the incredibly cute and talented actress Cécile De France, ties all these
stories together as the waitress in the local restaurant but has her own tale
to tell at the same time. Having nowhere to stay and sleeping in the dressing
rooms, she quickly makes friends and even finds romance amongst the people
her grandmother told her she should mix with.
is a movie that draws you in from the off and keeps you enthralled throughout.
While nothing truly dramatic happens for those expecting high drama, it is
the character and the performances that make this movie a real crowd-pleaser
and one that will keep you smiling until the finale.
Presented in Widescreen
2.35:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.
The Making of Orchestra
Seats (27.54 mins)
Writer/director Danièle Thompson takes you behind the scenes of the making
of 'Fauteuils d'orchestre'. She talks passionately about the structure and
feel of the film, highlighting the cast process and what the key actors and
actresses bring to the movie and their roles. We also discover how Albert
Dupontel played the piano sequences, as he discusses taking on the complicated
role. This is a good behind the scenes featurette that slightly makes up for
the lack of a commentary.
Watch the preview that showcased the film in cinemas and on the Internet
While the featurette
is good and covers most aspects of the film's structure, cast and production,
fans will be disappointed with the lack of a commentary track or interviews
with the cast and crew. This isn't a bad DVD treatment but it could have being
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