Posts tagged ‘Michel Hazanavicius’

March 1, 2012

OSS 117: Lost In Rio (2009 – DVD)

“Some people have adventures… I am an adventure!”

With Jean Dujardin crowned as 2011’s Best-Actor and Michel Hazanavicius hailed as 2011’s Best-Director at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars, I thought it was time to view the second of their Spy spoof films, 2009’s ‘OSS 117: Lost In Rio’. This time the action shifts from Cairo in 1955 to Rio in 1967.  We find charming yet brainless Secret-Agent OSS 117 is once again taking his cover story (This time as a photographer) too seriously and consequently missing all the intrigue around him (Check the end credits to see his terrible photographs).  For my tastes the humour seems a little broader than the first film but this was made up for with a string of Hitchcock film references.  The best gags are still based around OSS 117’s ridiculously Nationalist, Colonialist and Sexist outlook. Dujardin’s leading lady is Louise Monot who gets plenty of laughs as a Mossad Agent who is given the bewildering task of working with OSS 117.

I’ll be revisiting both OSS 117 films until I can get my hands on ‘The Artist’ on Blu-Ray but, luckily there’s also still a few older Hazanavicius films to catch up on before next year’s ‘The Search’ remake hits our screens.

February 19, 2012

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies (2006 – DVD)

My sole purpose here is increase my chicken sales”

I couldn’t resist picking up DVDs of Michel Hazanavicius’ last two films, the hit French OSS 117 comedies.  The first is 2006’s ‘OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies’ featuring Jean Dujardin as incompetent yet charming Spy OSS 117.  The movie pokes fun at the spy Genre and satires patronising and ill-informed colonialist views of both the past and unfortunately the present too.

It doesn’t have the emotional power of ‘The Artist’ (It’s a straight comedy) but it has just as many spot on jokes.  The best moments had me howling with laughter, in particular a clever one involving a clichéd camera move and a vase of roses.  The movie is also full of running gags involving squawking chickens and mysterious Veal stews.  But the best running gag is that we the audience can work out the plot in the first 5 minutes but OSS 117 is clueless at every turn.  Like ‘The Artist’, ‘Nest Of Spies’ also co-stars the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Bérénice Bejo playing the straight-woman/love-interest foil to Jean Dujardin’s inept secret-agent.  The disaproving and bewildered looks she gives OSS 117 every time he says something idiotic, are some of the funniest bits.  I’m hoping the sequel ‘OSS 117: Lost In Rio’ is just as good.

February 14, 2012

TMTYC’s BAFTAs reaction

“I just want to thank The Artist for not being adapted from a book!”

The 2012 BAFTAs got it nearly right this year with seven awards going to my (And surely any other sane persons) favourite film, Michel Hazanavicius’ ‘The Artist’. It won for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Original Music, Cinematography, Costume Design and Original Screenplay.  Ludovic Bource’s Music was sublime, Guillaume Schiffman’s Cinematography was gorgeous and it was the overall greatest film of the year.

However, while Jean Dujardin’s charming lead performance was nothing short of stunning, he wouldn’t have been my choice.  Gary Oldman’s portrayal of quiet spy George Smiley in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ was on a whole other plain of subtle minimalist acting.  Also Tomas Alfredson’s direction of that same film was similarly masterful and he should have walked away with Best Director. But I’m glad that a film as bold, beautiful and brave as ‘The Artist’ has been recognised by critics, industry and public alike.

I think the Academy made one grievous error by giving the Best Documentary to ‘Senna’.  It was good film but the past year was overspilling with great documentaries, most of which weren’t even nominated.  My pick would’ve been ‘Project Nim’ but ‘TT3D: Closer to the Edge’, ‘Tabloid’ and ‘Bobby Fischer Against The World’ are just a few other delights

Lastly, of course the Best Actress award went to Meryl Streep for ‘The Iron Lady’ (Any other result would’ve been ludicrous!). Now lets see if the Oscars in two weeks time can score a such a terrific ratio of hits to misses.

The ceremony is available to watch on BBC iPlayer for the next week by clicking here.