Movie: Avenue Montaigne (2007)
Why do I view so many French movies? So I can see their settings, of course.
While Ken and I took a bus tour that traveled down the Champs Elysee of Paris, we did not take the walk suggested in Paris Movie Walks, (Pg. 72) that traverses the fashionable and beautiful Avenue Montaigne, so it was fun to see this new “corner” of Paris. The movie’s exterior scenes are confined to this street, and the Théâtre des Champs Elysee.
I really enjoyed the movie about another French waif, a’ la Amelie, although this young woman is not as fanciful as Amelie. Jessica, played by Cécile De France, is charmingly natural and naive, yes. But very realistic.
One thing I am appreciating more and more, as I view more French movies, is the variety of character actors that populate the stories. Minor characters regularly steal the show, with their bizarre looks and interesting voices.
I was wowed by the way the screen writers packed the lives of three very interesting characters, and some of their sidekicks, into the short duration of the film. At the cafe where Jessica works, we get to know a concert pianist who wants to escape the tuxedo-clad rat-race. There’s a hard-working, self-promoting soap opera actress who wants to escape the Feydeau comedy she’s doing on stage and play Simone de Beauvoir in an American film.And we meet a loveable wealthy man who is selling off his art collection in search of peace at the end of his life. The movie is tender, funny, and explores some deeper issues along the way.
All very interesting, but for the traveler, it’s the view of the Eiffel Tower from the theater rooftop that provides the “Wow!” moment of the film. Obviously, our picture of the Eiffel tower does not equal what you will see in the view from the roof in Avenue Montaigne. Of course we SAW the Eiffel tower from various viewpoints, but nothing as dramatic as the close up view in the movie.
The movie is in French with English subtitles in the Netflix CD I watched.
Want more French Movie suggestions? Follow the link above to my post on Amelie. Many, many people weighed in with their favorite French Movie.
The two pictures of Paris are ones that I took last September. Unfortunately, not on Avenue Montagne, but some of the flavor is there, I believe. Please ask if you would like to reuse them.
If you have been to Paris, or are planning to go–left bank or right? We stayed in the less pricey left bank, St. Germaine instead of over there near the Champs Elysees. But plenty of people vote for the right bank or Montmarte on the hills above. Share your thoughts.
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And for something completely different, see the wonderful post by my co-author Charnell, (We co-authored Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist) who talks about Tahoma’s love of horses, which he painted every chance he got. She explains at the Tahoma Blog what horses mean to the Navajo.