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Avenue Montaigne

A souffle of a comedy.

Daniele Thompson directs this multicharacter comedy with such smooth assurance that the movie glows with infectious cheerfulness. The film moves effortlessly among three story lines and locations, all within easy walking distance in an upscale Paris neighborhood at the intersection of Life, Love and Art. Our entree into these competing though complementary worlds is Jessica (Cecile de France), a young woman so recently arrived in Paris she doesn't even have a place to live. She takes a waitressing job at the Bar des Theatres on the chic Avenue Montaigne, a venerable establishment that traditionally never hires women, yet the manager is desperate. Three major events will occur simultaneously on the street: Soap opera star Catherine Versen (Cesar-nominated Valerie Lemercier) will open in a Feydeau farce at the theater next door; celebrated pianist Jean-Francois Lefort (Albert Dupontel) will perform a Beethoven concert; and aging financier Jacques Grumberg (Claude Brasseur) will auction off his renowned art collection. The bar is the kind of joint where management willingly delivers orders from around the quarter. So Jessica finds herself drawn to each of these people as they prepare for their respective events. And each event represents a severe personal crisis. Jessica, who has a Candide-like optimism about life, floats through these three sets of characters, becoming part of everyone's life. The film is neither profound nor deep but does lightly touch on serious issues revolving around the temporal nature of life. All crises get neatly and happily resolved by fadeout, and the film approvingly views all its bourgeois glamour. No, existence is never quite so tidy, but that's why we go to movies such as Avenue Montaigne,
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Directed by: 
Danièle Thompson
Running Time: 
105
Country(ies): 
France
Language: 
French with Englsih subtitles
Starring: 
Cécile De France, Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Claude Brasseur
Screenplay by: 
Christopher Thompson & Danièle Thompson

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