Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (orig. La dame dans l'auto avec des lunettes et un fusil) 
APUM.com (L. Forero) review*
aVoir-aLire.fr (P. Vedral) review*
The Hollywood Reporter (J. Mintzer) review
Variety (P. DeBruge) review
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (orig. La dame dans l'auto avec des lunettes et un fusil)  [IMDb] [AC.fr]* (directed by Joann Sfar [IMDb] [AC.fr]*, screenplay by Gilles Marchand [IMDb] [AC.fr]* and Patrick Godeau [IMDb] [AC.fr]* based on the novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Sébastien Japrisot [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb] [AC.fr]*) is a FRENCH retro "NEO-NOIR" flick that played recently at the 19th (2016) Chicago European Union Film Festival held at the Gene Siskel Film Center here in Chicago.
While certainly stylish, sigh ... this is honestly a film where the trailer and even the poster (above, right) are far better than the actual film. And, further sigh ... one's almost certain that it need not have turned out that way.
The story centers on a random, be-speckled and rather heavily be-freckled, redheaded, 20-something, previously largely invisible, presumably Parisian secretary named Dany (played by Freya Mavor [IMDb] [AC.fr]*) who one day was visited upon by a rich / good-looking (presumably previously "way out of her league") former crush of hers named Michel (played by Benjamin Bolay [IMDb] [AC.fr]*) who asks her if she could come over to his quite opulent home to type-up the last part of a manuscript that he'd been working on.
She says ... "Sure!" After all, he was a former crush of hers. It also would give her a chance to reconnect with _his wife_ Anita (played by Stacy Martin [IMDb] [AC.fr]*) a former friend of hers who she hasn't seen in ages, since perhaps Anita ran-off with Dany's secret crush Michel and had gotten married.
After setting0up Dany dutifully in front of a typewriter, Michel and Anita apparently go off to some party. Oh yes, they leave Dany to babysit their daughter. They come back late, and wake-up Dany, fallen-asleep by the typewriter, quite early in the morning with a rather odd request: Could she now drive the them, Michel, Anita and their little daughter, in their quite stylish 60s era American sports car to the airport: "It'd be cheaper than a taxi ..." they say, "Just bring the car back (to their home) afterwards."
Dany agrees, drives them to the airport and ... then decides, "Hey, I'm in a really cool 60s era sports car! My friends tell me that they're not coming back for a couple of days anyway. I've NEVER seen the sea before ... Who's gonna know?"
And that's when the film really begins ... As she's off on what would seem to be a random if quite innocent joy ride, she is _repeatedly_ surprised to find that "everybody seems to know her." HOW CAN THAT BE?
The rest of the movie ensues ... and from the title of the film, it can't go particularly well.
There is SO MUCH that, of course, COULD HAPPEN in a story WITH SUCH AN EVOCATIVE INTRO and STYLISTICALLY the film is TOPNOTCH throughout. HOWEVER, sigh ... (I can't say more ...).
* Foreign language webpages are most easily translated using Google's Chrome Browser.
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