MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 23, 2023: REVOIR PARIS

Starring Virginie Efira as Mia, a Parisian woman who survives a deadly terrorist attack in a crowded bistro, Alice Winocour’s haunting drama Revoir Paris explores the lingering impact of devastating trauma. As Mia struggles to remember the details of what happened to her and the other victims that fateful night, she must come to terms with the fact that her life now has distinct “before” and “after” portions — and decide what that means for her future.

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REVOIR PARIS – Review by Jennifer Merin

Alice Winocour’s beautifully rendered Revoir Paris is a compelling drama centering on Mia (Virginie Efira), a woman who is trying to process a calamity and recover from the trauma of having witnessed and survived a terrorist attack in a popular — hence crowded– Paris bistro. The film is a fascinating study of grief that focuses on how to recover from trauma and move on. Director Alice Winocour, who co-wrote the script, and the wonderful Virginie Efire, who plays Mia, do a brilliant job of engaging viewers in timely contemplation about the shattering consequences of terrorism — on those who survive.

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BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Spending time with an old and not entirely extinguished flame when in a supposedly happy relationship is always a bad idea. It will be an ill-advised test of willpower at best, and at worst the height of hubris. That’s what happens in director Claire Denis’s romantic drama Both Sides of the Blade, which Denis wrote with co-screenwriter Christine Angot, based on Angot’s 2018 novel Un Tournant de Vie (A Turning Point of Life). They’ve created a visceral, intense slow burn about a destructive love triangle that spirals out of control with the help of stars Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, and Grégoire Colin. Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival for her work on the film.

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BEAU TRAVAIL – Review by Diane Carson

Inspired by Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, French director Claire Denis’ Beau travai moves that apocryphal story from the vastness of the ocean to the desolate expanse of the desert bordering the Red Sea. Set in the East African country Djibouti at a French Foreign Legion outpost, Chief Master Sergeant Galoup narrates in flashback from Marseilles his self-destructive obsession with Gilles Sentain.

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