Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Superb. Writer/director Arnaud Desplechin pulled in a stellar cast for this home-for-the-holidays drama which uses a medical crisis to bait a richly textured exploration of how parents & their children (and their children’s children) find infinite ways to get along, get mad, get together, get on with it and get out of each others’ way. Between the parents, the kids, a few cousins, in-laws, friends & grandkids, you won’t find a false note from anyone, but Catherine Deneuve (Mom/Grandmom), Mathieu Amalric (the wayward middle son) & Emmanuelle Devos (as Amalric’s latest flame) are simply beyond praise. The set up may sound a bit soapy (Deneuve comes down with a blood cancer & needs a bone-marrow match), but the execution handles it with the asymmetrical honesty of real family life. Desplechin paces this longish film beautifully, nicely filling in background detail when needed,* and manages to ‘see plain’ some of the mystery of family relationships in a manner rarely encountered on screen.

*There is, at least for English-speaking audiences, a bit of confusion getting all the characters straight. It stems from Deneuve’s husband, who's so much older, you think you’ve missed a generation. You can avoid this problem by first watching the American trailer which neatly parses all the main relationships. But be warned! It also has the disadvantage of making this film look like a French version of Ron Howard’s PARENTHOOD/’89. If anything, this film is the antitheses of that commercially savvy tummy-rub.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Desplechin displays quite an eclectic film palette with clips from A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM/’35; THE TEN COMMANDMENTS/’56 and FUNNY FACE/’57 showing up. And he had the whole cast watch ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS/’39 before the shoot. Yet, the film this most calls to mind is Bergman’s FANNY AND ALEXANDER/’‘83; the original Swedish tv cut, please, not the U.S. theatrical release.

No comments: