Saturday, June 30, 2007

Paris, je t'aime (2006, various)

The first thing that jumps out at you even before you actually watch it is the relatively low caliber of directors participating in this thing. Sure, you've got the Coen brothers, Cuaron, and Assayas, but Wes Craven? Gurinder Chadha? Vincenzo Natali? Gerard frickin' Depardieu? Compared to the equally blah TEN MINUTES OLDER movies, this feels like they were scraping the bottom. This wouldn't be such a problem, however, if the shorts themselves were better. Alas, they're mostly mediocre, with a few risible entries (Sylvain Chomet, Christopher Doyle) and one or two memorable ones. The biggest sin many of the filmmakers commit, aside from not trying all that hard, is that they really don't do much with Paris. Not a problem per se, except when the project is called "Paris, je t'aime" it would probably be good to tell stories that couldn't just have easily taken place in Sheboygan. In the end, Cuaron's film proves the most disappointing- more listless than a Cuaron film set in Paris and starring Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier has any right to be. On the other end of the spectrum is Alexander Payne's closing short, which contains some of the patronizing humor that marred his last couple of features but also culminates in a surprisingly moving epiphany. Way to go out on a high note, folks. Better luck with your NYC film. Rating: 4 out of 10.

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