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Foreign Film - France - La Petite Lili

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La Petite Lili
Ludivine Sagnier, Nicole Garcia, Jean-Pierre Marielle
Directed by Claude Miller
French, subtitles in some versions
France 2003
104 minutes

La Petite Lili is one of those French artsy-fartsy films where they sure do talk a lot.  From the philosophical profundity of their words you are supposed to figure out everything else. This to arrive at the meaning of life or a great revelation on the nature of x, y, or z the film is supposedly about.

This foreign film from France wastes great actors such as Nicole Garcia, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Ludivine Sagnier, and Bernard Giraudeau in an extremely wordy, temper tantrum filled, everybody is a tortured soul adaptation of Chekov’s The Seagull –that’s why there’s a shot of a seagull at the beginning of the movie.

Mado (Nicole Garcia) is a temperamental actress in her mid-forties dating Brice, her director (Bernard Giraudeau). One summer, Brice discovers country girl Lili in an amateur movie Mado’s moody for mood’s sake son Julien has made. The director is attracted to the young actress and Lili wants nothing more than to be taken away from her simple country life and be a star.

A few years later, Lili is a star and discovers Julien is going to make his first film and it is about her. She pleads for the role so Julien's movie becomes a copy of this film.

Most ironic in La petite Lili is the discourse Julien holds to slam Brice’s latest film applies verbatim to this film by Claude Miller.

If your taste in foreign film DVDs is mostly French films, you will probably like La Petite Lili. It is, for better and for worse, very French.  If, on the other hand you are a little reticent towards the tell don’t show French school, this movie is a pass.

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