Full Treatment leads 12-strong European contingent
by Fabien Lemercier
08/12/2010 - With eight films from Romania, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Italy, Lithuania and four French productions, Europe is out in force this week in French theatres. And there is quality to match this diversity with titles by Pierre Salvadori, Radu Muntean, Maren Ade, Sam Taylor-Wood, Bent Hamer, Chris Morris, Marina Spada and Sharunas Bartas, among others.
Leading this contingent, Salvadori’s comedy Full Treatment [trailer] (see news) is being launched by Pathé Films on 402 screens. It has received approval from critics who have once again fallen under the spell of the director’s subtle style bolstered by performances from Audrey Tautou, Nathalie Baye and Sami Bouajila.
"I think comedy is a very serious genre, or rather it should be taken seriously," explains Salvadori. "It’s an ambiguous and fragile genre because it is overexploited and underestimated: it has always been the case that people wanting to make money in cinema think they must make audiences laugh at whatever cost, and often the lowest if possible. This has ended up reflecting a rather ambiguous and undignified image of comedy, because it can be quickly distorted. We often forget its essence: ellipsis, irony, verisimilitude, the importance of the story, style and characters."
Five other European films have also attracted positive reviews: German director Ade’s Everyone Else [trailer, film focus] (Grand Jury Prize and Best Actress Award at the Berlinale 2009 – distributed by Why Not Productions on about ten screens); Home for Christmas [trailer, film focus] by Norway’s Hamer (Best Screenplay at San Sebastian – Happiness Distribution on 30 screens); and three UK productions: Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy [trailer] (see review – Mars Distribution on 60 screens); Morris’s We Are Four Lions (see review – UFO Distribution on 46 screens); and Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station [trailer] (see review – Kinovista on 10 screens).
However, opinions are more divided on As a Shadow by Italy’s Spada (see interview and review – Aramis Films on one screen); and Eastern Drift [trailer] by Lithuanian director Bartas (see review and video interview – Le Pacte on one screen).
Finally, other French releases are Guillaume Nicloux’s Holiday [trailer] (see news – MK2 Diffusion on 126 screens); Frédéric Pelle’s Elsewhere [trailer] (Zelig Films Distribution); and Franck Llopis’s L'Etranger [trailer] (“The Stranger”, Les Films à Fleur de Peau).
(Translated from French)