Pascal Bonitzer, 2012
France | French with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 100 minutes
Jean-Pierre Bacri and Kristin Scott Thomas together at last—enough said? Another of the pleasing, underrated comedy-dramas of frequent Rivette and Ruiz screenplay collaborator and ex–Cahiers du cinéma critic Pascal Bonitzer. Bacri is a conflicted and ineffectual academic who reluctantly agrees to ask his father, a senior judge, to pull some strings on behalf of a Serbian woman facing deportation—a task that fills him with horror since his relationship with his father is, you know, complicated. His marriage to a celebrated stage director (Scott Thomas) is on the skids, his teenage son is going through growing pains, a cranky old friend (Jackie Berroyer) is suicidal, and amid all this he’s befriended by the much younger Aurore (Isabelle Carré). Full of delightful moments and wry observations, this is an old-school relationship movie in which a self-involved member of the Parisian cultural elite comes to see how the other half lives, and it’s more than carried by Bacri, one of the best actors in contemporary French cinema.