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A new episode in Xavier's life, five years after his adventures in Barcelona in "The Spanish Apartment." Xavier is now thirty. No longer a student, he is not yet a well-balanced, fullfiiled adult either. His career is unsatisfying : far from being the renowned novelist he aimed to be he must be content with little jobs such as reporter or ghost writer. His greatest "achievement" in "literature" is his collaboration to the script of a corny TV soap ! His sentimental life is not much better, rhythmed by one night stands and unfinished romances. It looks as if when he seduces a woman beautiful outside and inside such as Kassia or Wendy he can't keep them. Will he ever bring his life into focus?
Russians Dolls by Cédric Klapisch (Les Poupées russes, France, 2005, 125 min.). Working with many of the same young actors who made L’Auberge espagnole such a worldwide success—including Audrey Tautou and Cécile de France—Cédric Klapisch offers a perceptive “state of a generation” report. Here, in one of France’s biggest box-office successes of 2005, he captures with equal measures of sympathy and bemused detachment the personal and professional travails of Xavier and his friends, as their youthful promise begins to settle into the workaday world. Five years after we left him in L’Auberge espagnole, Xavier (Romain Duris of The Beat That My Heart Skipped) seems to be living out his college dreams: he’s a working writer, he doesn’t lack for romantic companionship, and he has a supportive circle of friends. Yet somehow it’s not enough—or it is, but maybe what he really wants is something else. Description adapted from the Film Society at Lincoln Center.
March 14, 2006
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