Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Claude Brasseur, Suzanne Flon, Valrie Lemercier, Laura Morante, Christopher Thompson
Director: Danile Thompson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts
French for "Orchestra Seats," Avenue Montaigne offers an outsider's perspective on an insular world (the original title is Fauteuils d'Orchestre). After bidding adieu to her grandmother (Suzanne Flon in her final performan... more »
Jessica does Paris
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 03/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jessica (gamin-like Cecile de France from "The Spanish Apartment) arrives in Paris without a sou in her pocket but within minutes nabs a prime waitress job in a smart, stylish, up to this point type of café that only hires men as waiters, Restaurant on the Avenue Montaigne, close to the Champs Elysee' with the Eiffel Tower looming nearby.
Though "Avenue Montaigne" ("Fauteuils D'orchestre" in France or "Orchestra Seats") is very fairy tale-like, there is actually a very good reason for Jessica's hiring: the restaurant is short of help and the very next night three major events are taking place nearby: a big auction selling off the contents of an entire apartment filled with names like Braque, Brancusi and Modigliani belonging to an art collector played by the legendary Claude Brasseur, a major piano recital featuring virtuoso pianist Jean-François Lefort (Albert Dupontel) and the opening of a Feydeau farce starring TV Soap star, (actress Catherine Versen played by Valérie Lemercier) looking to land a prime Motion Picture about Simone de Beauvoir. Jessica swirls in and out of every one of these stories having a positive effect on all with her sunny sweetness and disarming honesty. There are definitely shades of "Amelie" and "Emma" at work here. "Avenue Montaigne" is as slight and light as a Crepe and de France, Brasseur and Lemercier hit all the right notes, acting-wise which sounds a lot easier than it is as the genre of light comedy is pretty much dead today and these actors are remarkably spot on here.
No one in the world makes this kind of film as well as the French and director Daniele Thompson is definitely up to the task: her film exudes warmth and a charismatic charm that is damn near impossible to resist.
A Slice of Paris
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 04/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"(3 1/2 *'s) `Avenue Montaigne' operates on the premise that all Parisians seek the good life. Offering a cross-section of the French dream, the film digs deeper with a "can't buy me happiness" theme stretching through intersecting lives.
Jessica (Ce'cile De France) is a high-life wanna-be who takes care of her grandmother in a nursing home. The elder reminisces that she took menial labor to enjoy vicariously the high art, food, and fashion of Paris. Emulating her grandmother, Jessica seeks a job at a café where they deliver, but will only break tradition of hiring waiters when they're in a bind. As a vivacious courier and waitress she meets the people who allegedly have fulfilled their dreams. There's Catherine (Val'erie Lemercier), a prima donna actress who isn't satisfied with the lucrative contracts she's offered. In order to achieve a high level of art, she stumbles over tables and chairs for a chance to court Sydney Pollack (cameo, himself), looking for a lead in his film. (Some of her foot-in-mouth tendencies make for some of the funniest moments.) Jean-Francois Laforte (Albert Dupontel) is a celebrated pianist who has all the amenities and filled concert halls, but his real desire is to enrich the uninitiated. His wife is his manager who can see only the material benefits of her gifted husband. Jacques, an elder art dealer wishes to sell out his collection before interest is lost, but his teacher son, Frederic (Christopher Thompson), is too idealistic. He's divorced and must watch his widower father flaunt his attractive new mistress while discovering the siren is predictably only interested in his father's money. Then, there's an elder woman who, having no musical talent of her own, is a purveyor of others' talents. She relishes the music. The movie displays great irony, for Jessica and the music purveyor, although outside of the circle of the affluent talent, seem oddly more satisfied than the successful people they admire.
`Avenue Montaigne' may not be as substantive or profound as French movies like 'L'Enfant' or 'Ponette,' but it is easily likable with characters who are accessible and make empathetic connections with the audience. Warmly engaging, sometimes funny, but often wise, this movie is a heartwarming alternative to a boulevard of broken dreams. The effect of the movie is like creme brule,' sweet, light, but very satisfying."
Ron | Berkeley, CA USA | 07/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for serious drama then you're in the wrong place. I would describe AVENUE MONTAIGNE as a "fun" movie. In many ways it reminded me of THE SPANISH APARTMENT (or L'AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE): both consisted of a bunch of colorful characters, who are trying to find their way in this crazy world of ours. It should be no surprise that Cecile France was in both films. She has a way of connecting with other actors on screen. She was a delight. Other notable actors in AVENUE were the "soap" actress, the pianist and the auctioner's son. If you just want to see a movie for just strictly entertainment value, then I highly recommend AVENUE MONTAIGNE."
In Paris you will find love!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 06/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A woman goes to Paris and takes a job just in the right intersection of three different worlds signed by the efervescencent universe of art. An old man who decides to sell all his artistic collection, a succesful actress who would love to perform as Simone de Beauvior in a film next to start and finally a pianist tired of being succesful, who would enjoy to play for single people far from the crowding world.
Slow but progressively, she will enter and turn around inside the affective existence of these people and will become a fundamental part in the rest of their lives.
A lovable and engrossing romantic comedy that will engage you from start to finish. Don't miss it!