Tagged: Samir Guesmi

For a glorious respite from the challenges of our present reality, look no further than the Alliance Française French Film Festival, which will return from early March until mid-April for its luminous 32nd season.

Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, this joyous and evocative celebration of French culture will screen in splendour at Palace Cinemas across seven cities and two satellite locations.  The strictest Covid protocols are adhered to in each state, including social distancing, sanitising and circulation of clean air, to ensure a safe cinema experience.

For its 2021 outing, the Festival is delighted to have the generous patronage of esteemed Presenting Sponsor, Peugeot Australia. With over 210 years of rich history, Peugeot delivers award-winning excellence in its mobility solutions for the modern motorist.

2021 is also noteworthy for being the inaugural season of Artistic Director, Karine Mauris.  Hailing from a background immersed in cultural creativity, Karine is passionate about nurturing emerging talent and discovering stories that cast a spotlight on the many rich facets of French life. 

To this end, Karine has assembled 37 incredible features from established filmmakers including Ruben Alves, Éric Barbier, Éric Besnard, Quentin Dupieux, Marc Fitoussi, Anne Fontaine, Yann Gozlan, Éric Lartigau, Gabriel Le Bomin, Emmanuel Mouret, François Ozon and Nicolas Vanier, alongside emerging talents such as Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin), Manele Labidi (Arab Blues) and Chloé Mazlo (Skies of Lebanon).  Adding further spice to the mix will be movies from multi-talented actor/directors including Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Géraldine Nakache and Samir Guesmi.

Every film in the 2021 season is guaranteed to transport and delight, with many exploring the powerful urge to overcome obstacles, no matter the situation, or sacrifice demanded. 

Passionate examples include Appearancesa taut thriller in which a couple’s privileged Viennese existence threatens to implode when a husband’s infidelity propels his wife into a spiral of revenge; Missa joyful, yet thought-provoking film about a boy who dreams of transcending traditional binary gender definitions by entering the Miss France beauty pageant; Final Set, a must-see for sports fans, as an aging tennis player takes one last shot at winning the French Open, The Rose Maker, a gentle comedy in the grand French tradition, about a once prosperous rose grower, who finds salvation from an unlikely quarter; Bye Bye Morons, a madcap quest filled with adventure, peril and bewildering encounters, and Aline (inspired by the life of singing sensation Céline Dion), the story of a teenager from Quebec whose powerful voice propels her onto the world stage to become the darling of millions.

As intrinsic to French culture as breathing, ‘l’amour’ in all its intoxicating complexities, is also a recurring theme throughout the 2021 line-up.  It’s explored with delicate sensitivity in Love Affair, with sophisticated humour in The Wedding Speech, empathy in Summer of 85, whilst France’s enduring love affair with gastronomy is depicted via the first French restaurant in the splendid 18th century period drama, Delicious.

This year’s programme will also highlight diversity through titles such as The Man Who Sold His Skin, a modern Faustian tale, selected as the Tunisian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 93d Academy Awards©; the devastation of civil war as depicted by Small Country: An African ChildhoodArab Bluesa sparkling ‘fish-out-of-water’ comedy about adapting to a new culture; the fraught Night Shift, which explores the moral dilemmas faced by police when dealing with illegal immigrants, the lyrical and poetic 1950s drama, Skies of Lebanon and Fahim, the Little Chess Prince, the story of  Fahim Mohammad, the Bangladeshi refugee boy who became a national French chess champion.

Bringing these stories and more to life will be a host of Europe’s finest actors, from Jean-Paul Belmondo, Monica Bellucci, Isabelle Carré, Alain Chabat, François Cluzet, Camille Cottin, Emmanuelle Devos, Lou de Laâge, Gérard Depardieu, Laeticia Dosch, Romain Duris, André Dussollier, Virginie Efira and Catherine Frot, to Grégory Gadebois, Blanch Gardin, Ana Giradot, Golshifteh Farahani, Isabelle Huppert, Kad Merad, Tchéky Karyo, Vincent Lacoste, Alex Lutz, Isabelle Nanty, Sylvain Marcel, Pierre Niney, Denis Podalydès, Kristin Scott Thomas, Omar Sy, Patrick Timsit, Karin Viard and Lambert Wilson.  Also look out for rising stars such as Félix Lefebvre, Finnegan Oldfield, Emma Mackey, Benjamin Voisin and Alexandre Whetter.

National dates and venues for the 2021 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

SYDNEY: 2 – 31 March Palace Central, Palace Verona, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne 
MELBOURNE: 3 – 31 March Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace, Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, Astor Theatre, The Kino & Pentridge Cinema 
CANBERRA: 4 – 31 March Palace Electric Cinema 
PERTH: 10 March – 7 April Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Windsor Cinema, Luna on SX & Camelot Outdoor Cinema 
HOBART: 11 – 20 March State Cinema Hobart 
BRISBANE: 17 March – 13 April Palace Barracks & Palace James Street 
ADELAIDE: 23 March – 20 April Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas & Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas 
BYRON BAY: 24 March – 14 April Palace Byron Bay 
PARRAMATTA: 8 – 11 April Riverside Theatres Parramatta 

Camille Rewinds

Summary: Underemployed actress Camille (Lvovsky) is in the throes of divorcing her husband of 25 years, who she married as a teenager following an unplanned pregnancy. Catching up with old high school friends at a New Years Eve party, Camille passes out drunk before waking to find herself back in in the 1980s (complete with leg warmers, “Walking on Sunshine” on the Walkman, no cell phones in sight) and living at home with her parents. Able to remember everything that the future holds, she sets about trying to remake her past before it has even happened.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 2nd May, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: France

Director: Noemie Lvovsky

Screenwriter: Maud Ameline, Noemie Lvovsky, Pierre-Olivier Mattei, Florence Seyvos

Cast: Judith Chemla (Josepha), Julia Faure (Louise), Esther Garrel (Mathilde), Samir Guesmi (Eric), India Hair (Alice), Vincent Lacoste (Vincent), Jean-Pierre Leaud (Mosieur Dupont), Noemie Lvovsky (Camille Vaillant), Denis Podalydes (Alphonse Da Costa)

Runtime: 115 mins



David Griffiths: Stars(2.5)

Please check Dave’s review of ‘Camille Rewinds’ that is available on The Helium Entertainment Channel.

Greg King: Stars(2.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Camille Rewinds’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:Camille Rewinds (2012) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Camille Rewinds′: Check Episode #30 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Camille Rewinds’.


The Woman In The Fifth

Summary: A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Light, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd May, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 20th June, 2012

Country: France, Poland, UK

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Screenwriter: Pawel Pawlikowski, Douglas Kennedy (novel)

Cast: Mohamed Aroussi (Moussa), Wilfred Benaiche (Lieutenant Coutard), Judith Burnett (Lorraine L’herbert), Geoffrey Carey (Laurent), Jean-Louis Cassarino (Dumont), Delphine Chuillot (Nathalie), Samir Guesmi (Sezer), Ethan Hawke (Tom Ricks), Marcela Iacub (Isabella), Joanna Kulig (Ania), Mamadou Minte (Omar), Julie Papillon (Chloe), Kristin Scott Thomas (Margit)

Runtime: 85 mins



Greg King: Stars(1.5)

Please check Greg’s The Woman In The Fifth review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

Dave’s review from Entertainment Scene 360

The Woman In The Fifth is one of those annoying films where the filmmaker has decided to try and do something a little different, but as a result totally confuses their audience to the point where they are going to feel completely cheated. Even worse is the fact that the film captivates you, sucks you in and leaves you with an ending that is likely to make your head hurt if you try to think about it too much.

Based on a book by Douglas Kennedy The Woman In The Fifth begins with a writer, Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke) arriving in Paris. Ricks obviously has some undisclosed mental problems and his ex-wife Nathalie (Delphine Chuillot) is understandably  quick to prevent him from seeing his daughter, Chloe (Julie Papillon).

Ricks’ problems don’t end there. He soon finds himself left with nothing after he is robbed and is forced to take a room and a mysterious job from gangster, Sezer (Samir Guesmi). At first the job seems like the perfect side-job for a writer, he just has to sit in a room and let people in occasionally, all seems fine except he has no idea what the people are coming in to do.

Just to mess things up a little further Ricks also begins relationships with Sezer’s girlfriend, Ania (Joanna Kulig) who is totally in love with his work and also the older Margit (Kristen Scott Thomas) whom he meets at a writer’s party.

What is most disappointing is the fact that early on The Woman In The Fifth really does suck you in. The screenplay (penned by Pawel Pawilkowski who also directed the film) sets up the characters really well and even though there are a lot of questions about Ricks and what he has done in the past he is portrayed in such a way that you can’t help but like him and you want to see everything work out for him.

Sadly the film is ruined by Pawilkowski letting the film become totally confusing about three-quarters of the way into it. People will try to guess exactly what happened, but it is impossible for anybody to know completely, and even if the popular myth that Ricks is sinking deep into a mental breakdown is true, then it is Pawilkowski’s responsibility as a filmmaker to allow his audience to get at least a little insight into what is happening. You either do that, or you lose fans before you can even blink.

Despite that disappointment, there are some things that make The Woman In The Fifth a watchable film. It is great to see Ethan Hawke once again getting a meaty role. Despite some brilliant performances in recent times, especially in Daybreakers, he has been largely off the radar in Hollywood, a shame because he is a fine actor that normally delivers a powerful performance.

As usual, Kristin Scott Thomas also is on top of her game, but it is Joanna Kulig that outshines everyone around her. This Polish actress has been promising in roles in her homeland, but in The Woman In The Fifth she announces herself to the whole world as an actress who is somebody for whom to watch out.

It is hard to recommend The Woman In The Fifth as a good film to watch as the film loses its audience with an ending that is just a little too far ‘out there’ for any cinema goer to feel completely satisfied, because it ends up raising more questions than it answers.


Dave’s review from Buzz Magazine
When it comes to the world of films there is ‘good absurd’ and ‘bad absurd’. The sad thing about The Woman In The Fifth is that the film is going along nicely until director, Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer Of Love, Last Resort) decides to take it into the absurd area and fails miserable.
The film tells the story of Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke – Sinister, Exit Strategy) an American novelist with some suggested mental problems who travels to France to try and see his daughter, Chloe (Julie Papillon – newcomer), but his ex-wife, Nathalie (Delphine Chuillot – Mozart’s Sister, Pursuit) soon puts a stop to that.
After he is robbed Tom finds himself in Paris with nothing. He is then befriended by a gangster, Sezer (Samir Guesmi – My Worst Nightmare, The Counsel) who provides him with a strange job. When not locked in the room watching his screen he pursues relationships with the mature and erotic, Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas – Bel Ami, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen) as well as his young muse, Ania (Joanna Kulig – Elles, Maraton Tanca).
As mentioned previously The Woman In  The Fifth starts off as a very good film. As Nathalie cowers away from Tom you find yourself wondering what has happened in the past and why he can’t see his daughter. However Pawlikowski has such a desire to take this in a similar direction to Fight Club that he loses sight of the answers that the audience wants to see… and sadly the film collapses into the heap and rewards its audience with an ending that is confusing and disappointing to all extremes.
The film does serve as a good platform to remind everybody that Ethan Hawke really is one of the forgotten actors of Hollywood. Hawke commands the screen in every scene he is in. He is well supported by Joanna Kulig who proves she is a talented up and comer, however you can’t help but think that Kirsten Scott Thomas is wasted in her role…in fact it is a shame to such a talented actress given her best for so little in return.
If The Woman In The Fifith had finished fifteen minutes earlier it may have worked, but at the end of the day its weird ending just ruins it for everyone. A disappointing film that is only saved by Ethan Hawke.

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating:  The Woman in the Fifth (2011) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Woman In The Fifth′: Nil.