Irma Vep - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Irma Vep Reviews

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December 17, 2010
Maggie Cheung plays Maggie Cheung, cast as the notorious Irma Vep in a remake of Feuillade's 'Les Vampires'. Working on a French movie but not speaking the language, she finds herself working dilligently on a film with a depressed has-been director and a feuding crew. At night she has strange dreams that she really is Irma Vep. Assayas film is partly a compelling look at the filmmaking process, but also a commentary on French society and, in particular French film. At one stage a journalist questions why such films are made when audiences want to see the latest John Woo movie or something with Arnold Schwarzenegger, while some of the crew wonder if a remake is worthwhile. When the original director is replaced, the new one muses on how appropriate it is to cast a Chinese actress in such a French role. Overall this is an interesting meditation on the nature of cinema, with a particular focus on the concept of a national cinema.
November 15, 2010
A thoughtful and entertaining meditation on the auteur theory and the french cinema. Maggie Cheung is extraordinary here.
½ October 18, 2010
This movie is all kitsch, and that isn't completely bad. It has a simple tale to tell about the remake of a classic silent movie stumper that was one of the originals that was more about style over substance. So this movie drops a bit of style over the mundane matter of making a movie in France.

But that is the catch, it is a contrast of the mundane and surreal inflection of style. It has an appeal, but nothing to be overwhelmed about. Maggie is good and the director and costume girl are good, but nothing seems to matter in this movie except the references to the old movie and how it seems to taint the mundane world. This movie just sort of sits there and points to good things while you stare forward.
½ October 3, 2010
I loved watching Jean-Pierre Leaud in this, and Maggie Cheung was good and interesting. There are some interesting dynamics at play here, but also some kind of childish ones. There are some elements which are meant to be shocking, but they're done rather immaturely and with not enough weight behind them to affect the audience in a profound way.
October 2, 2010
i watched this one streaming from netfllix on my ipad 4 inches from my face, thanks to being in bed with a cold: perfect! I love Assayas' energy and shaggy storytelling. I also appreciate a guy who is able to make a movie that sums up the state of French cinema in the context of globalization, and still honors and in a sense summarizes the prior 90 years, from Feuillade to the New Wave. Maggie Cheung is marvelous as herself, and the big cast, reminiscent of Truffault's DAY FOR NIGHT, stumbles around in their own lives while trying to make a damn movie. Fun.
September 19, 2010
I only took a look at this because Maggie Cheung, one of my favorite Hong Kong actresses is in it. Maggie stars as herself who arrives in Paris to star in a remake of an old French classic movie. However, the shoot doesn't go smooth with problem upon problem happening on set culminating in the director Rene Vidal suffering a nervous breakdown. Will the shoot for the movie ever be completed?

Maggie Cheung was just fantastic - serene and professional but increasingly absorbed in the odd role of "Irma Vep". So much so that the role, or at least the black latex catsuit, takes over away from the set, and her scene as Irma in her hotel is one of the movie's two highlights. The rest of the movie is is fascinating, and used as a vehicle for questioning where French cinema was going in the 1990s. This is brought out particularly well when Maggie is interviewed by a cynical French journalist. But somehow the sub-plots ,revolving around the tensions between crew members, don't match or illuminate the central theme. Overall, it's a movie well worth seeing for the star performance by Maggie Cheung but ultimately it's an experiment that doesn't quite come off - but you must stay with it to see the final 5 minutes.
September 19, 2010
I only took a look at this because Maggie Cheung, one of my favorite Hong Kong actresses is in it. Maggie stars as herself who arrives in Paris to star in a remake of an old French classic movie. However, the shoot doesn't go smooth with problem upon problem happening on set culminating in the director Rene Vidal suffering a nervous breakdown. Will the shoot for the movie ever be completed?

Maggie Cheung was just fantastic - serene and professional but increasingly absorbed in the odd role of "Irma Vep". So much so that the role, or at least the black latex catsuit, takes over away from the set, and her scene as Irma in her hotel is one of the movie's two highlights. The rest of the movie is is fascinating, and used as a vehicle for questioning where French cinema was going in the 1990s. This is brought out particularly well when Maggie is interviewed by a cynical French journalist. But somehow the sub-plots ,revolving around the tensions between crew members, don't match or illuminate the central theme. Overall, it's a movie well worth seeing for the star performance by Maggie Cheung but ultimately it's an experiment that doesn't quite come off - but you must stay with it to see the final 5 minutes.
½ August 10, 2010
some want this movie to fail. some think this is the best under the radar indie film... i'm not sure where i stand. i do think they pull of some things rather well. i think it addresses in a good way -- certain trends in cinema that tend to admire asian movies out of novelty rather than on the strength of their own merits. and... you know, it's kinda neato... the edits, the aimlessness, but on another day, it could all be quite annoying. i think maggie cheung was definitely the right lady for the role though...
½ August 10, 2010
Sexy, funny and really cool.
½ August 3, 2010
A fascinating study. The opposite of an American film.
½ July 9, 2010
Some good moments, and Maggie Cheung is wonderful, but as a metafilm it's really quite weak.
whosinthenews
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2010
A movie about a failed movie that ends up being a failed movie...gee...what paradox. Save yourself an hour and thirty minutes and just skip to the 55 min mark which is the only worth while scene in the film; the lovely Maggie Cheung in a rainy, Blade Runner-esque rooftop scene. Other than her drop-dead gorgeousness and that brief moment of poetic cinematography, this is an extraordinary failure of "story within a story" storytelling...mostly because there is no story. There's no focus at all unless you count the bland, never ending, disoriented French/Chinese culture clash.
½ July 3, 2010
A remake of the French serial "Les Vampires" is the backdrop for a film which mainly focuses around the turmoil of filmmaking, as well as a meditation on the (then) current French cinema. Imagine Living in Oblivion spliced with . . . uh I don't know, France.
June 16, 2010
Definitely makes you not want to make movies. I liked the weird ending, but overall it seemed pointless. (Maybe that was the point, with the critiquing of French cinema, and saying it was too intellectual and yet pointless. The point was not to have a point. [...Doesn't that give it a point?] Maybe it's smarter than I'm giving it credit for...) [Just rated it a half-star higher now that I had that little thought there in parentheses. I would give it another, but I just didn't find it enjoyable enough.]
December 4, 2009
watched this in film class -- it was freaky and I have no IDEA what people though was so fucking great about it
September 15, 2009
Maggie Cheung hasn't looked this stunning, even in her Wong Kar-Wai films. Maybe, it's the black leather outfit. Of course, she's the perfect Irma Vep. What does that other pretentious director know? The key scenes here are when Maggie Cheung pretends that she is really Irma Vep, a spy, and steals jewellery but later throws it out and when she is being interviewed by a French reporter who prefers ballet-like choreographed action scenes of John Woo's films over the pretentiousness and politics of French cinema.
August 12, 2009
This is a hilarious, intriguing, interesting look at the behind the scenes work of a film crew lead my Maggie Cheung's role as a Chinese actress working in a foreign land where poor English is the only common ground. The movie premise is a remake of an old silent series called "Les Vampires". Nathalie Richard is especially alluring as Zoe, the costume designer who developpes a crush on Maggie Cheung's character. The dialogue is fast-paced and brilliant as the crew competes for attention and work. Superb film.
August 8, 2009
The closing scene of the movie was super scary. But its odd that a movie about vampires is without sex, blood, or other normal vampire things.
July 5, 2009
Pretentious twaddle. A love letter to the director's future wife (they are now divorced): Maggie Cheung. Abysmal.
June 21, 2009
Fascinating on many levels, and it all began with my love of "Heroic Trio". But seeing Maggie Cheung blush and grin like a little girl when she was told that Natalie Richard's character had a crush on her made me gush for days after whenever I recalled it.
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