thu 29/07/2021

Paris

French Exit review - Michelle Pfeiffer faces mortality

Michelle Pfeiffer all but purrs her way through French Exit, as befits a splendid actress who cut a memorable Catwoman onscreen nearly thirty years ago. Playing a New York grande dame who deals with bankruptcy by decamping with her son Malcolm (...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière. It’s one of Europe’s foremost hospitals. It’s the place where 20th-century icons Josephine Baker and Michel...

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Lupin, Part 2, Netflix review - master of disguise versus racists and lies

Lupin isn’t really about the fictional character it’s named after (the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, created in 1905 by French writer Maurice Leblanc), but about Assane Diop, who’s an obsessive fan of the Lupin novels. He’s also a gentleman thief...

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La traviata, Opera Holland Park review – a revival in rude health

Loudly and painfully, the consumptive Violetta wheezes before we hear a single note. Her pitiful gasping for the breath that deserts her precedes the prelude to Opera Holland Park’s La traviata; the same effect ushers in Act Three. At first I...

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Blu-ray: Charade

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Paris in the summer: Charade was the last word in old Hollywood’s glamorous cool. It was almost the last word for Grant, feeling if not looking his age. Its tricksy, trapdoor plot, with a baffled Hepburn hunted for a...

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Album: LOUISAHHH - The Practice of Freedom (HE.SHE.THEY.)

Somewhere in dance culture or other, the Eighties revival has now been going on more than twice as long as the actual Eighties did. Starting around 1998, it reached an initial peak in the early 2000s as the dayglo-fashion led electroclash, but...

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Album: Mathieu Boogaerts - En Anglais

Mathieu Boogaerts has been recording since the mid 1990s, emerging from the nouvelle chanson scene in Paris, a chansonnier who’s performed at the likes of Cafe Oto over here, while establishing himself as a star turn on the Tôt ou Tard label in...

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Simple Passion review – a case of female amour fou

Pushing 40, Simple Passion’s Hélène (Laetitia Dosch) lectures Paris college students on poetry and is single mother to pre-adolescent Paul (Lou Teymour-Thion). Blessed with a bountiful Deneuve-ian mane, she’s a pale but unfallen bloom in her late...

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Spiral, Series 8 Finale, BBC Four review - justice is done in stormy climactic episodes

If this had to be the end of Spiral, the final episodes of Series 8 (BBC Four) at least ensured that justice was done. We saw evidence that on occasion lawyers may be human after all, and there was even the somewhat disorientating semblance of a...

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Call My Agent!, Series 4, Netflix review - the final bow for the Parisian showbiz saga?

Sad to report, this fourth series of Call My Agent! (Netflix) will be the final outing for this caustically addictive saga of actors and their agents. The show’s unique trademark has been its success in attracting an impressive roster of A-list...

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Spiral, Series 8, BBC Four review - dark days in the City of Light

The discovery of a grotesque murder is the traditional way to begin a new series of Spiral, and this time around the cadaver belonged to a young Moroccan boy, nicknamed Shkun. He’d been beaten to death with an iron bar and stuffed into a laundromat...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Le Cercle Rouge

Misdirection is at the heart of Le Cercle Rouge. The Buddhist quote that opens Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 thriller – "when men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day… they will inevitably come together in the red circle” – is fake, written by...

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