Avenue Montaigne Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
I was pretty bored through this one. Seemed like a bunch of stuff was happening and I didn't really care all that much.
Super Reviewer
February 16, 2009
Sweet tale of a young woman who moves to Paris, takes a job in a restaurant, and becomes involved in the lives of several local celebrities. Each of the characters are facing decisions regarding the future and the tale revolves around how each of them deals with his or her personal crisis. None of the world's problems are solved, but as an afternoon's light entertainment, this film is quite satisfying. A few questions linger as to motivation in a couple of cases, but not enough to detract from the sweetness of the story. A solid cast and a light hand at the helm by director Danielle Thompson. And Paris, ah, always beautiful.
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Avenue Montaigne," inspired by her grandmother who raised her, Jessica(Cecile De France) ventures forth from her native Macon to Paris. At first, she is unable to get a job but persuades the manager of Bar du Theatres, Marcel(Francois Rollin), that she would make a good waitress. It also helps that he is short two workers and that there is a triple event happening in the neighborhood coming up on the 17th involving a concert, an auction and an opening night for a play. The concert is to be given by Jean-Francois Lefort(Albert Dupontel), a virtuoso pianist. A wealthy collector, Jacques Grumberg(Claude Brasseur), is auctioning off his entire collection. And a soap opera star, Catherine Versen(Valerie Lemercier), is acting in a play to prove she can be a serious actress.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Avenue Montaigne" is a tiresome and uninspired movie set in the art world about a group of people who are making transititions in their lives. Odd as it may sound, Sydney Pollack gives an unconvincing performance as a film director. The movie only looks at art through the prism of fame and money, not talent, promulgating a class system where the unlucky majority is meant to serve the lucky few. Despite that, the movie does have a sound premise which could have worked if it had not been stated out loud in the opening minutes and if more emphasis had been on the rehearsals and less on the soap opera, especially if Jessica had just been relegated to the background, not the foreground.(Even then, she is only confined to one small part of a very large city which is portrayed only in picture postcard cliches.) [/font]
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2007
Fr. dramedy is cute enough to stay afloat, heavy enough to remain grounded.
Super Reviewer
½ December 13, 2007
This film's sweet and I liked getting into the heads of all the characters, well the main ones anyway.
Super Reviewer
August 29, 2007
Smooth and mellow... a nice watch on a sunday. Nothing extraordinary, but worth the watch.
½ May 6, 2008
Incredible, wonderful... sympa! It's like a French version of Love Actually, but much more interesting and adorable. The characters remain quite 2 dimensional, but you almost don't mind between the beautiful scenery, wacky character quirks, and endlessly adorable Jessica, played by Cécile De France. Un film très charmant!
January 27, 2008
"There comes a day when passing time becomes remaining time..."

A wonderfully thought provoking line from the character of the older, affluent man auctioning away all his collections.

This is an interesting movie that looks at lives of fascinating people when they aren't being fascinating.

What's the life of a virtuoso pianist or an actress dreaming of being Jean Beauvoir?

The dialogue is classic French whim. And although a bit cliche, I found the characters likeable. I especially found much depth in the relationship of the pianist and his wife/manager/accountant/agent/etc.etc.

His acting of the pianist was quite good. It really looked as if he were playing Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto.

It dragged towards the end, but the character development made the ending special when we see these ordinary people doing their "extraordinary jobs" in the wonderful simultaneous collage of a piano concerto, stage play, and auction.
September 21, 2007
Cute. This movie is cute. Has it changed my life in any way? Probably not. But I did like this light-hearted story of artists and people living in a rich part of Paris.

Now, this movie really can be separated by subplots. While it focuses on Cecile De France's character, (her name is De France! How weird is that?!) some of the more interesting stories come from the artists she meets. The most interesting was the character of the classical pianist. I have never thought in terms of an artist hating his position and the way society views his talent. It was really a treat to watch his struggle and seeing how he balances his personal feelings with his relationship with his wife.

I have to restate. This movie is just cute. It is really an innocent film with some funny, if not slightly forced, character choices. I do not understand how I am supposed to feel about certian characters, but at the end of the movie, I felt fairly pleased and upbeat.
July 27, 2007
A great French film. Everyone is centered around Jessica. They want to throw off their old, unsatisfying lives for something better and simple. A good film with a happy ending.
May 7, 2007
A wonderful French romance. Very entertaining. Good character study and superior to the usual American fare. The French make the best romances. Great date movie!
½ July 21, 2007
I wanted to see this movie when it was at the Fargo Theater but missed it by one day! When you read the blurb it sounds like it could be a bit like Amelie, and sure it has its similarities. The main character is a waitress in Paris and she has short hair. But unlike Amelie, she is blonde and outgoing. She says what she feels and has to be told when to shut up. To anyone who enjoys Paris and French films, this movie is definitely worthwhile.
July 20, 2007
Simply a very warm, very French , and very romantic film. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and i was simply entertained!!
½ April 15, 2007
Admittedly, I fell asleep during a few minutes of it, but that's because I was tired (I think). For the parts that I did actually watch, well, it was okay but a bit too light for me and I think would have worked best as a period piece.
½ March 13, 2007
Great carefree film with a heart of gold. Wonderful showcase of Paris and the lights at the Eiffle.
March 5, 2007
a very cute, funny, foreign lang film....i needed an escape adn i found it in his movie, it is believable adn really draws you in. worth a watch, even if you have to read subtitles to understand it.
July 1, 2007
Perfect for trist gloomy raining saturday afternoons... Allows you to cheer up!
½ April 21, 2013
"Avenue Montaigne" is one of those films that manages to warm your heart and make your day, even if it isn't grande cinema. For me, there's always that once in a while where you get a film that's entertaining and funny, and "Avenue Montaigne" is just that. It has the vibrancy of a Technicolor Godard movie from the '60s, along with a sweet sense of humor that sets an artistic but frothy tone (which isn't a bad thing at all). The stories, all intertwining, are enjoyable and simple. It's like a Robert Altman ensemble comedy minus the irony or complicated dialogue-- and it's a lot breezier. You could say "Avenue Montaigne" is as lovely as the city it takes place in: Paris.
The film revolves around Jessica (Cecilé de France), an optimistic young woman who moves to Paris from the small town of Mâcon, hoping to get a fresh start. While the first few days are hard for her (she doesn't manage to find a place to live or a job), she eventually gets a job at a stylish café. Because her new job is in the heart of an artistic community, through her job she meets a handful of people that are going through big changes in their lives.
There's Jean-François (Albert Dupontel), a celebrated concert pianist who wants nothing more than to quit big, classical music concerts; there's aging actress Catherine (Valérie Lemercier), who's stuck doing a soap opera and a limiting play when she wants to be a film actress; and then there's Jacques (Claude Brasseur), an art collector that's dying while also trying to reconnect with his son (Christopher Thompson). By the end, everything is resolved, and it makes us feel happy that everything works out.
The cast of "Avenue Montaigne" seems to be having a good time-- whether or not their character is shallow or nice, everyone gives it their all with a lot of pay off. If we didn't have a cast as dedicated and charismatic as this one, would the film be the same? I don't think so. But it's a delight to watch everyone bustling around, just figuring out life; and while this could be boring, none of the stories every sag. In films with multiple stories like this one, there always should be one that isn't as good as the other ... but that isn't the case here. All of them are equally entertaining and fun, and it's great how something so good-natured and sweet can be predictable without being cloying.
Much of it is enjoyable; I loved seeing the goofy, slight bonkers but old Claudie (Dani) lip-synch to old French songs while reliving her past, and when Catherine defies her play director and changes the play she's starring in into the way she wants to-- on opening night. But there are also quite a few poetic moments, as when Jessica stands with melancholy in the rain, looking into the atmosphere, or when Jean-François plays the piano for a group of sickly hospital patients. "Avenue Montaigne" hits the combination of dramatic and funny perfectly, to the point where it's sincere and quite touching.
The key to the film though, is France. Though there are certainly a few standouts here, especially Lemercier, France carries the movie. I've always really liked her-- her pixie hair, crooked smile and curious eyes make her an intriguing beauty, and she maintains to be lovable in nearly all her films. This one shows her at her best. Her spirited and likable characterization of Jessica serves not only as a connector to all of the stories involved, but as the most winning part of the film.
"Avenue Montaigne" may be fluffy, but it's good fluff. It's never sappy; it moves along with energy and slight wit that amuse us more than it should.
April 2, 2013
We really enjoyed revisiting this. It's witty, observant, and explores themes of money, art and love. Especially, love. Characters are well-drawn and plausible, and the tale is played fairly straight with the comedy incidental rather than being the intention.
May 6, 2012
Wonderful movie about the love of art, and the art of love.
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