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Americano (2012)

tomatometer

44

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

28

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 1,485

My Rating

Movie Info

Americano functions both as an homage to Demy's famous parents, filmmakers Agnès Varda and Jacques Demy, and as a work that stands entirely on its own. The film is a deeply moving drama about inheritance and legacy that deftly mines the past of a true-life filmmaking family, while at the same time weaving a mesmerizing fictional narrative about coming to terms with unattended grief and uncomfortable pasts. The stellar cast includes, perhaps not incidentally, the children of famous film

Unrated,

Drama

Mathieu Demy

Oct 30, 2012

Bac Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (7)

While Hayek isn't bad, Lola is a stock character, and very little that transpires after her arrival recovers the interest so beautifully constructed in the beginning.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is wistful and nostalgic, and at the same time full of restless curiosity.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The film's appeal has less to do with plot than mood. Demy balances his father's romanticism and his mother's naturalism, taking cues from both.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scenes of the director as a school-age boy in a Varda film are haunting, but end up simply sparking a desire to see Varda's work. It may take time for the son to catch his own wave.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Demy leans heavily on a cinematic legacy that also seems to hold him back.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wounded characters eventually slouch toward redemption; the movie they're in, however, isn't nearly as lucky.

June 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...if you can't get past the flaws, you could always rent it just to see Salma's exotic dance number.

June 24, 2012 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

A film with a compelling story (though far too dependent on a single character) fails to move its audience, even as its own scenes somehow fail to move their protagonist.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

This odd hybrid of in-search-of-mother quest and lurid border-town pulp shows a humane intimacy mostly in touches borrowed from the filmmaker's estimable parents.

June 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Often hypnotic, this small, well-acted piece focuses on a middle-aged man intent on fulfilling his departed mother's final wish.

May 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

A French man follows his quest to find out more about his estranged mother following her death in Venice, California.

February 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Americano

Mathieu Demy, first-time writer/director of "Americano," is the son of two legendary filmmakers, Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy. He's a well-established actor in France, but this is his first big break into making his own films.

Will he follow in his parents' footsteps? No way. Weirdly enough, he seems to have no instinct for filmmaking. The story construction is terrible, and the direction is flat.

Demy plays a Parisian man whose estranged American mother has just died. He flies to Los Angeles on his own to wrap up her affairs. I thought the film was going to explore the challenge of being bi-cultural and the particular ways that French and American cultures confront each other. I thought the title was a reference to this character's feeling somewhat American and somewhat French.

But no. Almost immediately after arriving in Los Angeles, the character (who is played by Demy) leaves for Mexico and spends almost the entire film there. He is searching for a woman whom his mother adored. He thinks he has found it in a stripper/prostitute (played by Salma Hayek) who works in a decrepit dump in Tijuana.

The story goes nowhere. He keeps trying to talk to the stripper and gets thrown out of her club. When they finally do speak, nothing of consequence happens.

There are numerous clips from an old film, which I think is "Documenteur" made by Agnes Varda in Los Angeles in 1981. I also believe the boy in the clips was Mathieu Demy himself, acting in his mother's movie. This provides some added resonance, with Demy exploring his relationship with his actual mother and the ways that movies were interwoven into his family's life.

But it doesn't come off well. The clips seem to be functioning on a level all their own, more distracting than enhancing. Demy ultimately seems not to be sure of what he wanted to say with "Americano." He had a few different ideas in mind, and none of them really got developed. Overall, a quite seriously disappointing cinema experience. Sad to say, but I don't think Demy Junior is headed for a significant career in filmmaking.
June 20, 2012
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

At a critical point in his relationship with Claire(Chiara Mastroianni), Martin(Mathieu Demy, who also wrote and directed) gets the news that his estranged mother has died in Los Angeles where he now has to dispose of her personal effects and repatriate her remains back to France. He is met at the airport in Los Angeles by Linda(Geraldine Chaplin), his mother's caretaker/friend, who does not share her friend's fond opinion of Lola, a longtime friend of the family's.

On the plus side, "Americano" is highly evocative and Matheiu Demy definitely knows his way around a movie camera, what with his eye for detail and the tracking shots. A particular highlight of which is the sequence involving the Doors' 'L.A. Woman.' And that's not to mention all the movie has to say on the subject of the unfairness of the United States' immigration policy.

But just as much, Demy can be his own worst enemy sometimes, not just because of his off-putting screen presence. See, it appears that Martin might not be the only one suffering from a Madonna/whore complex at a point in the movie where once it gets to its destination it hardly knows what to do with itself next except possibly circle the drain.
April 13, 2014
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Lola: She talked about you everyday.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Lola: I don't wanna talk, roller skate, or whatever with you.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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