Category Archive: French

The Kid With A Bike (Day 63)

My Opinion: 8.1 || A direct and unadorned story about abandonment and kindness. Free of melodrama and predictable story turns, it has the tone and structure of a great documentary. If there’s a flaw, it’s that we never understand the motivations of the pivotal character.

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A Man Escaped (Day 60)

My Opinion: 7.2 || Intellectually absorbing prison film that ignores the usual genre elements to focus on the mechanics of escape. The minimalist approach means that although we spend every minute with the protagonist… Continue reading

Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (Day 57)

My Opinion: 6.1 || A crime drama on the outside, but really a drama about friendships. It’s nothing special as a thriller, but once you stop looking for genre satisfaction and accept the film… Continue reading

La Pirogue (Day 48)

My Opinion: 6.8 || Weighty subject matter presented with directness and limited theatricality. The story’s major developments are easy to anticipate, but it’s an engaging film, with strong sense of place and rich detail.… Continue reading

Le Cercle Rouge (Day 47)

My Opinion: 7.1 || A clockwork thriller that delivers a beautifully filmed heist sequence and great cat-and-mouse tension. The characters are standard hardboiled types, and some elements of the plot don’t hold up under… Continue reading

Stolen Kisses (Day 45)

My Opinion: 6.5 || A light, pleasantly cheeky romantic comedy. It’s erratic and lumpy in places, but that’s a welcome contrast to the synthetized rom-com pablum that so often gets served today. It helps… Continue reading

Battle of Algiers (Day 41)

My Opinion: 8.3 || Harrowing, unique, and deeply insightful. Gets into the marrow of a political and military conflict like no other film I’ve seen. Gripping documentary-style realism and admirable evenhanded in depicting both… Continue reading

Le Havre (Day 38)

 My Opinion: 7.1 || A great feel-good movie that achieves a nearly perfect balance of sentiment and intelligence. The characters’ nearly uniform compassion and generosity may too good to be true, but Kaurismäki has… Continue reading

Rust and Bone (Day 34)

My Opinion: 6.1 || Several fine pieces, but it doesn’t quite cohere as a story. The director manages texture and mood well, but he grabs too much from the same bag of visual flourishes… Continue reading

Z (Day 25)

My Opinion: 6.3 || A political thriller with a distinctive style, it’s effective as a wide-ranging procedural but doesn’t succeed as well at the level of emotion and character. Costa-Gavras gives us great breadth,… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.

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