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A Lady in Paris Movie Review

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A Lady in Paris Movie Review

Title: A Lady in Paris

Director: Ilmar Raag

Starring: Jeanne Moreau, Laine Mägi, Patrick Pineau

‘An Estonian Woman in Paris’ would have been the literal and more appropriate title for the movie ‘A Lady in Paris.’ That is probably the only fault – imputable to foreign translators – that may be found in the delicate story of the Estonian media executive, screenwriter and film director, Ilmar Raag.

The Baltic woman who goes to Paris is Anne (Laine Mägi). She moves to the French capital to take care of Frida (Jeanne Moreau), an elderly Estonian lady who emigrated to France long ago. But Anne will soon realise that all Frida wants from life is the attention of Stéphane (Patrick Pineau), her younger lover from years ago. In this triangular conflict a variety of life features emerge with great realism and tact. In fact, Frida, Anne and Stéphane embody different perspectives of the main theme: the relationship with life, old age and death.

The silver screen has lately portrayed a masculine perspective on disability and old age, with films like ‘Intouchables,’ ‘The Sessions’ and ‘Amour,’ delineating old males with grumpy and resigned characters. Feminine third age instead possesses a coquettish concern for appearance and entertainment, a vital grasp that still clings on to life’s delights. Jeanne Moreau exquisitely expresses all this zeal with a touch of aloofness. Nevertheless the octogenarian diva of the Nouvelle Vague does not shadow the two brilliant actors who act by her side. Laine Mägi has the calm and determined grit of Baltic ladies, whilst Patrick Pineau is empathic in displaying how his character is torn between the affection and gratitude that still ties him to Frida and the desire to break free from her to live his life.

Technical: A

Acting: A

Story: A

Overall: A

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

A Lady in Paris Movie

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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