Renoir Roulette. That’s what we called it when my friend Katinka and I decided to go see a movie this past weekend at the Aix-en-Provence Cinema, after realizing we had purchased our tickets to the latest McConaughey/Efron/Kidman film “The Paperboy”, without confirming whether or not it would be completely in French.

We agreed that with Zac and Matthew though, it wouldn’t be that painful if it turned out to be completely French, because their bodies would sweeten up the screen. So after grabbing some pistachio and lavander honey gelato cones we waited in anticipation for the outcome in the theatre…

When it was finally time for the movie, we arrived in the theatre and sat down in the most comfortable movie theater red velvet couches, noticing the weird curtain of advertisements, and crossed our fingers.

The curtains folded back, the screen turned on, and 3…2…1…. English [with French subtitles]! Too good to be true? Yes. Because when the film started playing, we realized that this was not a Rom- Com, and that along with not researching the language it’d be set in, we also forgot to check the plot.

Turns out this would not be a flick fit for two American college girls in need of some American heartthrobs, but instead, an almost horror film with everything from Nicole Kidman urinating on Efron, crocodile intestines, and Kidman sex scenes with a downright freaky pants-hating, sex-obsessed prisoner killer played by John Cusack. You could say his character was enough to completely ruin any fantasy I had of marrying the cutie some of us may remember as the king of the geeks from Sixteen Candles or more recently Hot Tub Time Machine.

It is in fact, a quite compelling movie, in a sense, with important messages, such as that racism and sexism are bad, as McConaughey and Macy Gray’s character insist, but those messages are hidden behind the images of McConaughey’s bloody naked body and Kidman’s panties. Altogether, one leaves the movie feeling quite disgusting and confused, as if having been tricked into watching a dirty porno when having only signed up for Disney’s ‘Enchanted’. No amount of Efron’s charm can make you forget that.

In some ways, I wish it had been in French. Then maybe half of the vulgar nuances would’ve been lost in translation.

On a positive note, the next weekend when we played our luck in our French Movie Theatre….Skyfall was as heavenly as if it had fallen from the sky….

Qui est-ce que le mieux James Bond? Daniel Craig is the best Bond, that’s who.

From the moment Adele’s beautiful voice hit the audience, I was drawn in. As any good Bond film demands, the intro graphics were super cool and the action was accompanied by beautiful scenes of some beautiful country I have yet to discover. After that, struggles with double O as he strives to get back to his old fit self, beautiful scenes from London and Scotland (both of which I had the pleasure of seeing in real life over break!) and hilarious moments throughout the movie [even caused by the scary Javier Bardem] which any action film that demands your attention can always use. The gore, shootouts, fast-paced chases, and mind games were all there.

For the guys, there were two beauties: Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe,

and for us gals you couldn’t hide from Craig’s good looks or the adorable Ben Whishaw’s charm.

Judi Dench was marvelous and proves that age doesn’t tarnish good acting, and there was symbolism throughout for those literary buffs who perpetually seek it.

Throughout the movie I was thoroughly impressed with the cinematography; notably the trains and beautiful landscape and home in Scotland.

I loved the film, and I’m glad I saw it the weekend after seeing The Paperboy, because I think it made me appreciate it that. much. more.





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