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French Exit Dream Cast But What A Nightmare!



French Exit

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Frances Price,Lucas Hedges as Malcolm Price,Valerie Mahaffey as Mme. Reynard

Directed  by Azazel  Jacobs

Rating: **

We all grew up admiring and sighing over  the  bewitchingly  beauteous  Michelle Pfeiffer. How could  anyone  so beautiful be so  talented? Chal  jhoothi!

Just to have  Ms Pfeiffer back  on screen is reason enough to forgive this film all its trespasses….almost all. There are  limits to how much one can stretch one’s  sense of loyalty to its luminous leading lady  to accommodate nonsense,  specially  pretentious nonsense  such as  this.

Soaked  in  a silken sophistication and  cloaked in a  cumbersome  quirkiness French Exit is the  kind of experience one would expect  Ms Pfeiffer to have  jumped at.Lamentably  the leap lands her in a  limp lukewarm  soup .This  is the  supposedly  amusing  story of  New York heiress Francis  and her  eternally confounded son Malcolm, played by  the  eternally confounded  Lucas Hedges,  I have  never seen him play a normal  teenager.And considering the way  his  screen  mother  responds to insolvency  in this  quirk binge, it  would be  unreasonable to  expect Mr Hedges’character  to remain  normal.

 Off  he goes with his mesmerizing mom to Paris to escape the   impact  of bankruptcy.The actual  weirdness kicks in when the mother and son arrive at their  roomy Parisian  apartment where a gallery  of  eccentrics  soon collect together  in  what looks like  a frightful revocation of  those  halcyon times when classic  actresses in fur coat  smoked  cigarettes on long holders, seduced  moneyed men and slept in skimpy negligees  which threatened  to slip off their  shimmering bodies.

Ms Pfeiffer does none  of  the above. But her character behaves as if it would do all of  the above any moment. There is a bland  eccentricity at  the heart  of this  irrepressibly whimsical  comedy drama, none more  irrepressible and whimsical than the brilliant  Valerie Mahaffey as  a lonely French woman who  insists on befriending Francis and  moving in wit her.

Also giving Francis  and  Malcolm company are a clairvoyant(Danielle MacDonald), a detective(Isaach de Bankolé),Malcolm’s distressed  girlfriend(Imogen Poots who is  very very good in a restaurant  scene  where  her dithering  boyfriend comes to  inform her that he is leaving with his  mother in Paris), and Francis’ best friend(Susan  Coyne).

These are accomplished actors who are put in a  film that  has no idea what it is talking about. Oh  yes, and there is  a talking cat who, we are  supposed to believe , is  a reincarnation of Francis’ dead  husband.

I was willing to  believe anything  provided French Exit made a quick exit from my life. It did. I won’t miss  any of  the  eccentric characters  trying hard to be  eccentric.

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