Paris, Interpreted

August 23, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

When I watched the film, Paris Je T’aime, I didn’t know what to expect. Though I read the film synopsis before, I have completely forgotten about it so I had no idea what the story was about. All I knew was that the film is set in Paris and composed of an international cast, which includes Natalie Portman. But when the movie unfolded in front of my eyes, I quickly became engrossed.

Paris Je T’aime (which translates to “Paris, I Love You”) is a collection of 18 short stories, each showing a different interpretation of what Paris is all about. These stories are set in different areas of Paris and shows what the City of Lights has to offer: romance, joy, pain, loss, struggle, and even violence. Each “episode” is directed by a different director and played by various actors.

Paris Je T'aime

The movie lets you take a look at Paris from different angles. It forces you to think that the City of Love is not just all about romance. It’s about people who live, love and learn in Paris. Some of the stories were sad, some were funny, and a few were tragic.

I particularly loved the story “Quartier de la Madeleine,” which stars Elijah Wood, wherein Elijah’s character became the object of affection of a female vampire. I thought it was a hilarious rendition of horror B-movies. I also loved “14th Arrondissement” in which an American postal worker narrates her visit to Paris in a heavily-accented French. I laughed myself silly when she pronounced “Simone de Bouvoir” as “Simone de Bolivar”! Special mention goes to “Faubourg Saint-Denis,” which stars Natalie Portman — a great story; “Porte de Choisy” — a funny, quirky story; Gus Van Sant’s “Le Marais;” “Bastille;” and “Pere-Lachaise.”

Paris Je T’aime assembles an international host of directors such as Alfonso Cuaron, Wes Craven, and Gus Van Sant, and a cast of international actors including Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Miranda Richardson, Gerard Depardieu, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Nolte, and many others.

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