Sunday, 8 November 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 54 - Julie & Julie

Sunday for the most part (I did watch the football in the pub in the afternoon and watched the horrendous result on X Factor), was spent in the company of Miss Julie Delpy with three of her films on the list:

390 - 2 Days In Paris - 2 stars
Julie Delpy directs, produces, writes and acts in this comedy that owes a huge debt to the Before... films (which I'm reviewing below) and to Woody Allen, so much so that someone on IMDB called this film 'Woody Amelie'.
Delpy plays a neurotic woman who takes her American boyfriend to spend '2 days in Paris', staying with her family (played by her real parents) and friends, where the language barriers and the fact they keep bumping into Marion's ex-boyfriends.
It's all been done before but amusing to anyone who has found meeting the parents an intimidating experience.

200 - Before Sunrise - 3 stars
A very simple premise; boy meets girl on train, they spend a day walking, talking and flirting around Vienna, boy and girl part ways.
Yet this is a difficult film for me to review as I originally saw Before Sunset, which I loved, before this film.  On my first viewing of Sunrise I was met with a problem, I really didn't like the character of Celine.  I found her rather irritating, so much so that I probably would have skipped out on her when she went to the toilet!
A rather fantastical, idealic view of young romance to this cold hearted cynic, but does feature a scene in the Vienna ferris wheel which reminded me of The Third Man.

110 - Before Sunset - 4 stars
The sequel takes place nine years after Vienna. Jessie has written a book about that fateful day and is at a book signing in Paris when he bumps in Celine. What follows is, yes you guessed it, another 90 min
utes of two people walking and talking round a beautiful city.
But this time it really works, probably due to the two star crossed lovers having grown up (somewhat) wiser. How much of the grown up Jesse and Celine is the characters and how much is the actors playing them is open to debate. There does seem to be a degree of truth and autobiography in their experiences and outlooks on life.
There is a beautiful, underlying honesty to their conversations with a lot of it improvised to heighten the emotional connection between them.
It is full of beautiful moments, like in the taxi when she reaches out to touch him then pulls back and he doesn't see it, and a perfect ending for hopeless romantics where you get to make up your own mind as to how the story ends.

I myself have spent 2 days in Paris, with someone very special, doing the touristy thing, visiting Le Deux Moulins from Amelie and Shakespeare & Co. from Before Sunset.  And although it didn't turn out exactly as I would have liked... no I did not propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower!  I would like to go back, to do the cinephile tour of Paris as it has some of the best cinemas in the world.  Will I include a trip to Paris in my quest to watch all the films on my list?  Perhaps...

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