2 Best Movies to Watch by Simon de La Brosse

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Éric Rohmer movies are what you watch when you want to experience the thrill of someone putting into words something you might never have been able to express yourself. The magic of his characters is that they’re breezily candid, even if that honesty doesn’t protect them from committing the same contradictory foibles we all do. Pauline at the Beach is a dazzling example of that quality; it may even be more honest than usual, because it also tells a truth about its characters that they’re not even aware of themselves.

The most perceptive character is actually the youngest: 15-year-old Pauline (Amanda Langlet), who’s vacationing with her older cousin Marion (Arielle Dombasle). Having never fallen in love herself, Pauline receives a thorough education in the matter by observing the love triangle that Marion becomes entangled in with needy Pierre (Pascal Greggory) and predatory Henri (Féodor Atkine). Though the adults give the film its brilliantly articulate philosophical meditations on love — ranging from the idealistic to the dispassionate — their actions often fall short of their words. Shot through Pauline’s keen eyes, Rohmer’s film wryly reveals the decisive role that delusion and unchecked ego play in so many grown-up lives — ironically making the self-aware and measured teenager the most mature of all.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Amanda Langlet, Arielle Dombasle, Féodor Atkine, Pascal Greggory, Rosette, Simon de La Brosse

Director: Éric Rohmer

Rating: R

Betty Blue looks gorgeous. Of course, as an erotic film, there’s the beauty of the female form, but Jean-Jacques Beineix frames each moment in excellently lit, colorful frames, making each sunkissed scene a pleasure for the eyes. His approach, alongside that of Luc Besson and Leos Carax, have formed a movement titled Cinéma du look, and inspired plenty of films due to how gorgeous this style looks. But frankly, the style is the only thing that makes Betty Blue watchable, as the plot plays out with the usual aspiring artist, whose talents are recognized by stunning beauties that somehow turn insane for no reason and thus become future muses for their work. We’d hate to be that guy’s girlfriend.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: André Julien, Béatrice Dalle, Catherine D'At, Claude Aufaure, Claude Confortès, Clémentine Célarié, Consuelo De Haviland, Dominique Besnehard, Dominique Pinon, Gérard Darmon, Jacques Mathou, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Nathalie Dalyan, Philippe Laudenbach, Raoul Billerey, Robin Bernard, Simon de La Brosse, Vincent Lindon

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Rating: Not Rated