Irma Vep (1996)


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Movie Info

A has-been French filmmaker makes a desperate comeback attempt with an homage to "Les Vampires." Maggie plays a cat-like jewel thief and discovers that the director is a laughing stock. Becoming totally immersed in her part, Maggie starts sneaking about her hotel dressed in a black cat-suit.


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 Friend
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's Apartment
Odile Horion
as Zoé's Assistant
Laurent Jacquet
as Electrician
Estelle Larrivaz
as Switchboard Operator
Alain Martin
as Boy At "Café Des Oiseaux"
Willy Martin
as Bellboy
Smail Mekki
as Kermor, Unit Manager
Maurice Najman
as Maurice, Roland's Friend
Jérôme Simonin
as Property Man
Alexandra Yonnet
as Lili, Markus' Friend
View All

Critic Reviews for Irma Vep

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11)

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

Mar 3, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Slender but appealing.

Mar 3, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

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

Minor but witty.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

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

Feb 14, 2001 | Full Review…

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

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Shades of the later Tristram Shandy and earlier Truffaut films, we have the story of a film within a film and all the drama that occurs outside of where the camera is shooting. While good at times, it often feels lost.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

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
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. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Irma Vep Quotes

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