Category Archives: Cinéfranco

October 31

Cinéfranco 2016: Back to Mom’s (Retour Chez Ma Mère)

Falling on hard times after losing her job, forty-year-old Stéphanie (Alexandra Lamy) has no other choice but to move back home with her mother Jacqueline (Josiane Balasko). A single mother, though her young son lives with his father, and an architect by trade, the usually independent Stéphanie sees living with her mother as merely a […]

October 30

Cinéfranco 2016: Certified Halal (Certifiee Halal)

The French and Arabic film Certified Halal (Certifiee Halal) is a peculiar little farce from writer-director Mahmoud Zemmouri, (co-written with Marie-Laurence Attias). The story they tell is a kind of Comedy of Errors full of misogyny, forced marriages, drugging, and numerous cases of mistaken identity. Unfortunately, the subject matter is likely a bit too serious […]

October 29

Cinéfranco 2016: Rencontre, Denial (Le Déni)

Rencontre We often think of life in terms of big events. That first kiss that lights up our insides like an electrical charge to the system, the first car or home we own, etc. However, the truth is life is about the small moments. The random interactions that manage to stay in our conscious, and […]

October 29

Cinéfranco 2016: The Scent of Mandarin (L’Odeur de la Mandarine)

As the first World War rages on, a young widow named Angèle (Georgia Scalliet) takes a job as a homecare nurse for a former cavalry officer Charles (Olivier Gourmet) who has lost a leg in the war. Even though she is initially warned that her new patient is prone to some very bad moods, Angèle’s […]

October 28

Cinéfranco 2016: Rebellious Girl (Insoumise)

Jawad Rhalib’s Rebellious Girl (Insoumise ) is an investigation of the spirit of rebellion, and how difficult it can be to quell. Rhalib tells this story amid the backdrop of migrant workers, many of them immigrants, who work on a Belgian orchard. Their cheap contracts are seen as a godsend for the farmer Andre (Benoit […]

October 27

Cinéfranco 2016: Saint Amour

Gérard Depardieu and Benoît Poelvoorde play a father and son, respectively, attending a livestock show. Luckily for Poelvoorde, the fair also features a wine exhibition and he makes it his mission to sample everything. Since there are a few days before the main event (the cattle competition), Depardieu suggests they widen the scope of the […]

October 26

Cinéfranco 2016: Made in France

It starts out reasonably enough: we hear a lecture against pornography. But the words are angry, vehement, and even if we agree with the content, you can’t help but worry about the tone. Then it continues: the Internet is evil too. And so is “fraternization” – males and females hanging out together…merely looking at each […]

March 31

Women Shine at Cinéfranco 2015

Now or Never Cinéfranco 2015, English Canada’s largest celebration of international Francophone cinema, finds a new home at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto from Friday, April 10, 2015 to Sunday, April 19, 2015. In its 18th year, Cinéfranco once again explores the diverse cinemas of the Francophone diaspora, the riches of Francophone cultures […]

April 03

Cinéfranco Review: 9 Month Stretch

In Albert Dupontel’s madcap comedy 9 Month Stretch, Ariane Felder (Sandrine Kiberlain) is a 40 year-old woman who is committed to her job and…well nothing else. Working 10 to 15 hour days, she has little time for silly things like friends or relationships. Really, who needs love when you are on the fast track to […]

April 01

Cinéfranco Review: The Informant

After penning the Academy Award nominated A Prophet, screenwriter Abdel Raouf Dafri returns with a gripping slow burn thriller based on Marc Fievet’s autobiographical book “L’Aviseur.” Set in the 1980s Gilbraltar, the story revolves around Marc Duval (Point Blank’s Gilles Lellouche), a man drowning in debt who finds himself clinging to a fragile and increasingly […]

March 31

Cinéfranco Review: Hold Back

Truth be told, I have never been a fan of Romeo and Juliet. It is one of the reasons I do not have the same fondness for the various film incarnations of the play, including the much beloved West Side Story, as others do. So it says a lot when a film travels down this […]

March 30

Cinéfranco Review: On My Way

At one point or another we have all had that insatiable inkling to leave. To hop in the car and drive away leaving everything that is impeding on our happiness behind. Few of us have the guts to go through with it though as fear, responsibility, and a plethora of other reasons causes us to […]

March 29

Cinéfranco Review: Bright Days Ahead

Wearing a flannel shirt and form fitting jeans as she saunters across the screen, it is hard to believe that famed French actress Fanny Ardant just turned 65 years-old. There is a youthful air to her that is undeniable. Displaying both confidence and sensuality, it is easy to see why men off all ages would […]

March 28

Cinéfranco Review: Moroccan Gigolos

It seems strange that in an era where reality shows such as Showtime’s Gigolos exist, films about male sex workers are still few and far between. This is especially true in the comedy genre where the likes of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo is considered the industry standard simply for lack of other options. Well, we […]

March 27

Five Films to See at Cinéfranco

Cinéfranco, the city’s premier festival for showcasing Francophone cinema, will be kicking off its 17th year tomorrow night. Running from March 28 to April 6, 2014, and covering topics such as sex, love, corruption, politics, crime and self-discovery, there is no shortage of films to satisfy your French appetite. With so many wonderful films to […]

April 05

Cinéfranco Review: Tango Libre

Tango Libre is not your typical dance inspired film. Similar to the Tango itself, the film is a little bit of everything all rolled into one. There is joy, pain, passion, sadness and even a bit of silliness thrown in for good measure. The challenge with having so many different themes at play is finding […]

April 04

Cinéfranco Review: Big is Beautiful (Mince Alors!)

Big is Beautiful is being marketed as “a moving film on friendship, in the same vein as 35-Something, Bridesmaids and Sex in the City…with a few extra pounds”. Although the sassy and sensual aspects of Sex in the City are clearly influenced the film, the message of self-acceptance feels more akin to Calendar Girls than […]

April 03

Cinéfranco Review: Armed Hands (Mains Armées)

Pierre Jolivet’s latest film, Armed Hands, is a police procedural that strives to be both a taut thriller and a gripping family drama. While Jolivet’s ambition is admirable, it serves as one of the major hindrances of the film. Armed Hands is a film that has several good ideas running throughout, but not enough time […]

April 02

Cinéfranco Review: Our Children (À perdre la raison)

Belgian auteur Joachim Lafosse delivers another astounding look at family life with his gripping film, Our Children. Based on a real life incident that occurred in Belgium in 2007, Lafosse’s film explores the events that may have led up to the horrific event. To go into the specifics regarding the incident would be a disservice […]