Irma Vep (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Irma Vep (1996)

Irma Vep



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Irma Vep Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A has-been French filmmaker with his creative finger firmly on the pulse of a by-gone era makes a desperate attempt at coming back by making a nostalgic tribute to Feuillade's popular silent serial Les Vampires, exciting adventures featuring the cat-like jewel thief Irma Vep, in this comedy drama. The director Rene Vidal chooses Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung (playing herself) as the new Irma. She comes to find chaos upon the backlot and learns that poor Vidal is the laughing stock of the cast and crew. She, however, tries to remain loyal to her director's vision. She also tries to gently discourage Zoe, the lesbian costumer for the film, from making further advances. Maggie later gets lost in her part and begins sneaking about her hotel dressed in a black catsuit and trying to rob the guests. Meanwhile, Vidal's decline accelerates.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Olivier Assayas
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 31, 1998
Dacia Films


as Bulle Ogier
Bulle Ogier
as Mireille
Arsinée Khanjian
as American Woman
Antoine Basler
as Journalist
Alex Descas
as Desormeaux
Pierre Amzallag
as Emergency Doctor
Françoise Clavel
as Rene's Wife
Balthazar Clémenti
as Robert, Assistant
Olivier Torres
as Ferdinand/Moreno
Lara Cowez
as Script Supervisor
Jessica Doyle
as Jessica, Roland's Fr...
Sandra Faure
as Sex Shop Salesperson
Catherine Ferny
as Policewoman
Maryel Ferraud
as Make-up Woman
Filip Forgeau
as Camera Operator
Nicolas Giraudin
as Unit Manager
Valérie Guy
as Valérie, In Mireille...
Odile Horion
as Zoé's Assistant
Laurent Jacquet
as Electrician
Estelle Larrivaz
as Switchboard Operator
Alain Martin
as Boy At "Café Des Ois...
Willy Martin
as Bellboy
Smail Mekki
as Kermor, Unit Manager
Maurice Najman
as Maurice, Roland's Fr...
Jérôme Simonin
as Property Man
Alexandra Yonnet
as Lili, Markus' Friend
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Irma Vep

Critic Reviews for Irma Vep

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (11)

Irma Vep's director, Olivier Assayas, evinces a love of the process that's nearly as palpable as Truffaut's.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
Top Critic

Slender but appealing.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
Top Critic

A delightfully nonchalant movie, complete with some nice satirical barbs aimed at contemporary French film culture, and fine performances throughout.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Minor but witty.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

As effortless as a shrug and boasts a film buff's dream cast.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Assayas turns the camera on the behind-the-scenes process, and the results are both comic and revealing.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Irma Vep


Style over substance, but it works. And just as well, because there is not much of an actual storyline.
Actress Maggie travels to France to star in a remake of an old movie. The movie is about the making of that movie, which never really pans out. It's interesting and Maggie is well suited to the role. I also enjoyed her relationship with Zoe. The "completed" movie at the end is interesting too.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A director tries to remake Les Vampires.
I'm not really sure what I saw. On the one hand, I see some clever satire about French film here, especially with the interviewer complaining about intellectual film in an intellectual film, Rene's mumblingly intense focus on process, and the costume designer using a bondage mask. On the other hand, I think one would have to know the history behind Les Vampires in order to be in on the joke, and I'm not sure what to make of the romance between Maggie and Zoe. And what is going one with Maggie Cheung playing herself? Once again, I feel like there's a reason for this choice, but it isn't communicated with any clarity.
Overall, I left this film confused and not in a good way.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Burned out new wave director, played by one-time Truffaut alter ego Jean-Pierre Léaud, decides to remake Louis Feuillade's french melodrama, Les Vampires, with the Hong Kong starlet Maggie Cheung as the black-latex-clad leader of a gang of jewel thieves.

Amusing behind-the-scenes look at the French film industry that's critical of how it's funded, how it looks upon its' cinematic legacy and how its' complancency, seriousness, self-importance, fighting and jealousies crush any real creativity. Maggie Cheung, who in the film can't understand the french language, is great to watch as she's allowed to be herself and put her own personality into the film, improvising and reacting with surprise and incomprehension to the insanity around her.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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