Critics Consensus

Alternately a sharp ensemble dramedy and a love letter to the titular city, Paris is uneven but often striking.



Total Count: 71


Audience Score

User Ratings: 20,689
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Movie Info

Love and life pose dilemmas for a handful of friends in the City of Lights in this romantic drama from French filmmaker Cedric Klapisch. Pierre (Romain Duris) has enjoyed a successful career as a dancer performing in Parisian nightclubs, but when he's diagnosed with a serious heart condition, his doctor warns him that the strain of his work could kill him. Pierre must reinvent his life, and as he ponders his future and his mortality, he turns to his sister, Élise (Juliette Binoche), a social worker and single mother, for help. Élise is facing some life changes of her own; she's tired of being alone, and has developed an infatuation with Jean (Albert Dupontel), a grocer who sells his wares in the city's open-air market. But Jean is recently divorced and is still preoccupied with his former wife, Caroline (Julie Ferrier). Pierre also finds himself falling from afar for a lovely college student named Laetitia (Melanie Laurent), but he has a rival for her affections in Roland (Fabrice Luchini), one of her professors, who is considerably older than her. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Paris

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (24)

  • My expectation was that the City of Lights would be displayed in an exceptional manner. Take it from me, it is not.

    Jan 16, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • When it comes to being a fool for love, there are no city limits.

    Oct 2, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Perhaps it's time for a moratorium on movies where the trajectories of various people intersect, often portentously, across the tableau of a big city.

    Oct 1, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The French director Cédric Klapisch is a glib wizard at weaving folks together, but there are too many secondhand characters roving through Paris, his latest ensemble piece.

    Sep 30, 2009 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Paris keeps us involved not because of momentous plot developments but because the production incites our curiosity to see what will happen next.

    Sep 28, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Writer-director Klapisch's glossy love letter to Paris, and its yearning, beautifully lighted inhabitants, may not be much, and you may not even believe in its emotional and (discreet) carnal complications moment to moment. But the cast is fabulous.

    Sep 25, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Paris

  • Feb 13, 2011
    Generally, I judge films like <i>Paris</i> against the "Altman Standard." If the film comes close to linking the characters in the clever and interesting ways that Altman accomplished in <i>Short Cuts</i>, then it works for me. And <i>Paris</i> attempts to reach for the Altman Standard, despite the fact that the title would lead one to believe that it is attempting an homage to the city in the vein of <Paris, Je T'aime</i> or <i>New York, I Love You</i>. Here we have a brother and sister dealing with the former's life-threatening illness, a gang of fruit-mongers seeking sex/love, and a professor obsessing over a student. But thrown in haphazardly and failing to connect to the other stories in substantive ways are a racist baker and a group of African would-be immigrants. It is with these stories, tangentially related but ultimately unnecessary, that the film fails to reach the Altman Standard. Additionally, I detected a degree of misogyny in the film's portrayal of women. Most of the men go through complex existential crises, but with the exception of Elise, played by the always charming and lovely Juliette Binoche, and possibly Caroline, the women in this film are either flakes or sluts. Overall, <i>Paris</i> is a good film, but it falls short in a couple key areas.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2011
    "Paris" starts with a shot of two of France's national treasures - the Eiffel Tower and Fabrice Luchini. You know you're in trouble when a little old lady is faster than you going up a flight of stairs. That is especially true for Pierre(Romain Duris) when he is diagnosed with a critical heart condition, badly needing a transplant. His sister Elise(Juliette Binoche), a social worker, takes some time off work and even moves in to take care of him. But bringing along her brood is probably not going to help much. The only thing that does makes him feel better is looking out on Paris from his balcony, especially when the beautiful Laetitia(Melanie Laurent) is in her apartment across the way. But she has other things on her mind, like Roland(Fabrice Luchini), her history professor, who is secretly sexually harassing her via texting. Roland is actually quite depressed these days with his father dying and selling out to television. At least, he can celebrate his brother Philippe(Francois Cluzet) about to become a father for the first time. While "Paris" has a certain amount of charm and a good cast, there is also no denying that it is too long and something of a mess that is literally all over the map. There are scenes in Cameroon which like much of the movie links tangentially, instead of being part of an organic whole. The market is a fine starting place but many of the characters are given little time to establish themselves, which leaves the movie primarily to Elise and Roland. Both are linked by common themes of loneliness with death hanging over everybody, as if the next time could be the last in a city where the new is constantly replacing the old and nobody tragically has any sense of history.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2010
    I was not totally sure how much I was liking Paris until the film was over. Storywise, there really is not anything. The movie is all over the place and really does not make much sense. Every scene is secluded and impressionistic; but very deeply felt. That is what really stood out to me, the sheer emotional impact every scene carried. In many ways the film is incredibly depressing and pessimistic, but there is still a glimmer of hope, the promise of redemption. This is not a film to look back upon and remember the story, or the cast, or any of the details. The only thing that is enduring is the emotion. That is enough to make for an extreamely good movie, but, personally, as much as I loved it, I think the film needed a bit more of a backbone. Paris is a long movie, and you would completely justified in saying that it is boring, but, with an open mind, it is worth watching. It will, gently, and with the utmost sensitivity, crawl under your skin, tickle your heartstrings, make you laugh, make you cry.
    Jake . Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2009
    Charming, chic and quintessentially Parisian. Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris and supporting Melanie Laurent make the charming performances in this full-drama, emotional and inspiring ode to <i>Paris</i> because I know them well in their latest foreign-language arthouse films. Director-writer Cédric Klapisch has done something marvelous here, a film full of ideas and humanity, yet one that somehow enables us to engage with and care for so many complex characters without ever having to resort to stereotypes. It's a great achievement ? and a glorious movie about that city to which we must all return in our dreams: Paris.
    Dean M Super Reviewer

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