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Movie Review - Mademoiselle Chambon

Like Mike
Like Mike

European cinema can be a mixed bag. Sometimes you can sit down and see something simply stunning, ie ‘Farewell’; sometimes you sit down and see something completely perplexing, ie ‘I am love’.  One thing I’ve always liked about the films they make is they constantly take risks and push the boundaries of storytelling, though I guess if they are making the films for their own markets they may not see it as pushing the boundaries. It’s probably the westerners watching the films that think this way. Either way, I love seeing foreign films, and European ones in particular, as even though we have different cultures I normally can relate more to their stories than I can with say Asian or middle eastern films. So when I saw the very French sounding name “Mademoiselle Chambon” as my next press screening film, I knew I’d be going in not really knowing where this film would fall in the world of European films. Stunning or perplexing?

“Jean, his loving wife and son live a simple, happy life. At his son's homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon's request, he volunteers as substitute teacher and starts to fall for her delicate and elegant charm. His ordinary life between family and work starts to falter.”

They say that Hollywood makes ‘cookie cutter’ films by taking one thing that worked in one film and replicating it over and over again film after film. The same is often also said of Bollywood, so the USA isn’t the only one guilty of this. Now, after seeing this film, I start to wonder if maybe European films could also fall into this category. Why? Because this was one of the most generic European films I have ever seen. It felt like it would have been the easiest film to write as they just retold a story that’s been told a thousand times before - a slightly unhappy marriage, one of them has an affair, and either the marriage breaks up or it makes them stronger. The End! That’s exactly what this film was. It brought nothing new to the genre; nothing overly interesting about the characters and a generally mundane world. So if you like those kind of films then it might work for you but, trust me, there are much better told stories and films made about similar subjects than this one.

6 out of 10 from me. 

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