More from Rendez-Vous with French Cinema:
In “A Lady in Paris” (“Une Estonienne a Paris”), Anne (Laine Magi) comes to Paris from her native Estonia to care for Frida (Jeanne Moreau), a much older Estonian who has long lived in France. Anne was hired by Stephane (Patrick Pineau), Frida’s younger former lover who is extremely concerned about Frida’s living alone.
Frida remains resentful of a stranger’s intruding on her privacy. She throws things. When Anne serves her breakfast Frida sarcastically accuses her of wanting her “to eat plastic’. While this film has a slight story line, “The Lady” is well worth seeing because of the legendary Jeanne Moreau (“Jules and Jim”, “The Bride Wore Black”) in a leading role. Moreau remains a fiery and formidable presence.
“You, Me and Us” (“Un enfant de toi”), written and directed by Jacques Doillon (“Ponette”), views a romantic triangle complicated by a seven year-old child. The lead role of Aya is played by Lou Doillon, daughter of the director who physically resembles her mother Jane Birkin. Aya, divorced, is living with and her young daughter Lina (Olga Milstein) and Louis (Samuel Benchetrit) with whom she wants to have a child. Since she split with her ex-husband Victor (Malik Zidi) three years ago, Aya feels enough time has passed for her to meet up with Victor. Both Aya and Lina become torn between Victor and Louis.
Jacques Doillon has written good dialog, delivered with flair by the cast. Doillon keeps his film moving at a brisk pace, so it doesn’t drag, even at over two hours. After the screening, the director said that he did not write for specific actors. He added that Benchetrit is an ex-boyfriend of his daughter Lou.
Doillon compared his camera movements to choreography. He described his characters as invaded by feelings. He added that for his film, there was no improvisation whatsoever, and that he used a lot of takes.