Thursday, 24 May 2012

film review: cafe de flore

 If you're quick, you might still be able to catch this before it exits cinemas.  it's.... alright. 

After a brief sojourn into British period drama with The Young Victoria, Quebecois Jean-Marc Vallée returns home for Café De Flore, and in the process recoups his flair. Vallée juggles parallel plots with dazzling style; though they take place on opposite sides of the Atlantic, forty years apart, there’s a fluidity to their non-linear organisation that very nearly manages to gloss over the incredulity provoked by their climactic intersection. In 60s Paris, Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) devotes herself wholly to her son’s happiness and protection; in present-day Montreal, DJ Antoine (Kevin Parent) leaves his wife for a younger woman and frets about the consequences. Vallée interweaves these geographically and temporally disparate lives via audacious editing and a particular emphasis on music’s indelible ability to trigger memory; unfortunately, the overlaps eventually expose a flawed and difficult-to-swallow core, the conclusion’s mystical overtones muffling each individual strand’s emotional impact. But by almost any other yardstick – visually, editorially – Café De Flore is a revelation.

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