Friday, May 05, 2023

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

 ... you can learn from:

Elle (2016)

Michèle: I'm very sorry for all you've been through.
Rebecca: Fortunately, I have faith. What's it for
if not to get through tough times.

An incredibly super duper happy 46th birthday to the actress Virginie Efira, who's managed to skyrocket to the ranks of one of our favorite working actresses in the six years since the movie quoted above. It wasn't that movie that did it -- that movie was obviously Huppert's show and then some (here's my review), although Efira did leave a mark in that scene (one that actually changed the way I viewed the entire movie). But no it was the next movie that Verhoeven made with her that did it -- Benedetta, glorious Benedetta (my review), which of course starred Efira as a lesbian nun who goes mad with holiness, of several different sorts. 

What a picture!!! But as revelatory an experience as that film was Efira's has proved herself as much if not even more formidable elsewhere -- she's tremendous in the 2019 movie Sibyl, which I reviewed during that year's NYFF right here. That was how I knew she'd kill it in Benedetta -- and sure enough!

And then I saw her in two films in the past year which have proven beyond any shadow she's the real f'ing deal -- I haven't written properly about Other People's Children (it just got released a few weeks ago here) but our pal Cláudio did at The Film Experience and I underline everything he says about it. Click that link and read.

And then there's Revoir Paris from director Alice Winocour, which I saw at my beloved annual "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" series here in NYC at Film at Lincoln Center back in March -- Efira is once again phenomenal, this time as a woman who survives a mass shooting and falls apart as she can't remember what happened in the aftermath. It's a perfect companion piece to Winocour's film Disorder with Matthias Schoenaerts (reviewed here); they'd make a great double-feature actually, both being about people manifesting their reactions to trauma in experiential, outward ways.

Anyway Revoir Paris is being released here in the U.S. on June 23rd in New York and then in L.A. the next week, with a wider roll-out to follow planned, and we very much recommend seeking it out. We very much recommend seeking out all of the movies I have mentioned here, all because of the magnificent Efira. Here's the trailer:

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