Movies,  Thoughts & Poetry

Quand J’étais Chanteur

Sorry for the French title, but if you’re quite into films, especially French films you’d know that the title is from a French movie. The English title, if I am not mistaken, is said to be The Singer, or When I was a Singer. Meh. Sorry for the confusing information, so not an expert. 😛 The movie is written and directed by M. Xavier Giannoli and it stars Gerard Depardieu and Cecile de France, and yes, I watched the movie because I was fan girling over M. Depardieu. You can’t blame me though, he’s such a good actor, and his performance in the movie bagged positive feed backs from French movie critiques. It was even nominated in the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and the main actors were nominated as best actor and best actress consecutively in the Cesar Awards that same year; the movie won Best Sound in the said competition.

The movie tells the story of a middle-aged, ballroom singer (Depardieu, as Alain Moreau) who fell in love with a younger woman (de France, as Marion), who happens to be working as an intern in one of his friend’s Real Estate company. The two met in one of Moreau’s gigs, and they had a one night stand, which Moreau cannot seem to get over with not only because she left him without even saying a word, but also because he was really attracted to her. Being friends with Marion’s boss, Bruno, he went to her office one day and asked Marion to help him find a house for him. The two eventually fell in love, but were hesitant to fully show and give what they feel and have for each other because of a lot of reasons and because of the different situations they were in.

It’s a really great film, if you’d ask me, and I’ve been looking forward to watching it for weeks since I have seen its trailer on YouTube. As a growing fan of Gerard Depardieu, I got curious so I tried to get my hands on a copy of it, and when I finally did, I eventually went gaga over it. The chemistry between Depardieu and de France was quite unexpected, but came out to be wonderful after all. Gerard Depardieu has that something in him that makes him suddenly match a random actress that plays alongside him in movies, and it’s really one of the factors that make a movie better.

Apart from the chemistry that both lead actors possess, another factor that swayed me to watch the movie was the music. I suppose that this is not the first time that Gerard Depardieu was seen and heard singing in a movie, but it’s definitely the first movie where he sang seriously. He has a soothing voice, typical deep male voice, but he definitely carried out his role as a singer throughout the entire film by performing well known French songs and giving new life into them. The song selection was really good, and my personal favourite song in the movie is “Save the Last Dance for Me”, a song which I admit I don’t feel like listening to in the past, but I learned to love and appreciate because of this movie. As a matter of fact the song has been stuck in my head for over a week now, and I’m really having a hard time trying to get it out of system. I also happen to really like the finale, which is Quand J’etais Chanteur, wherein Gerard Depardieu has surprised me with a powerful vocal ability at the latter part of the song. Gerard Depardieu proved himself to be really talented in this movie when he swept along the dance floor with Cecile de France. Cecil de France has also showed her flexibility as an actress and not only did she feature it, she also did it well.

The story progression was good as well, it was neither rushed nor slowed down, it went on smoothly and orderly, in my opinion. But it lacked character background, especially on the part of Cecile de France’s character. I personally find her character background mysterious, even if her personality shows that she was ironically a strong yet fragile woman. I yearn to find out more about her character, since the movie focused on Depardieu’s character background quite well. I feel that some part of the movie was cut during final editing because of this.

The movie ended well, and the director really made it a point that the audience hold their breath at the story’s ending. It was even heartbreaking at first, especially when the lead actors parted ways, but like a fairy tale, it ended happily ever after just when I thought that the credits would roll.

It’s really a great movie, and I highly suggest it to movie fanatics like me who are looking for something easy, simple yet magnetizing. It’s a movie with a very simple plot, typical as some might find, but it was beautifully and superbly told and performed.

Nota bene: All photos are all screen capped by moi. 🙂

A corporate tough cookie with the soul of a gypsy. Professional bathroom singer. Teacher. Poet. A light-eyed dreamer who nitpicks for a living as she waits for redamancy.

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