100 Word Review – The Illusionist (2010)

Not to be confused with the 2006 film of the same name, this French animation is based on a screenplay by Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle, Jour de Fete).

A French illusionist befriends a young Scottish woman and both of their lives change for ever.

It is the closest I’ve come to seeing a silent animation and the combination is mesmerising. Full of humour, charm and at times magic, this is a wonderful film for both adults and children alike.

Adapted and directed by Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendezvous, Paris je t’aime, Attila Marcel), it was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

100 Word Review – Amélie (2001)

Romantic and whimsical in a quintessentially French fashion. 

Amélie (Audrey Tautou) lives alone in Paris, working at a local cafe. The death of Princess Diana prompts her to find a hidden treasure in her flat. She starts doing good deeds and standing up for the less fortunate when she meets Nino (Matthieu Kassovitz).

Co-written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (A Very Long Engagement, The City of Lost Children), it is stylishly shot with a truly lovely soundtrack. Quirky, beautiful and funny, it was nominated for five Oscars, including Art Direction and Cinematography, and is currently number 75 on IMDb’s Top 250 films. 

100 Word Review – Attila Marcel (2013)

This was one of my unexpected gems from Bath Film Festival 2014.

Paul (Guillaume Gouix) is a mute. Living with his two over-bearing aunts, it is not until an accidental meeting with Mme Proust (Anne Le Ny) that takes him on a psychedelic psychological journey through his repressed childhood.

Written and directed by Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendezvous, The Illusionist), this is his foray into live-action, bringing all the creative visuals he is known for to a new medium. It is full of the charm, wit and philosophy you would expect, with such beautiful scene composition you cannot help but feel transported.