Paris, je t'aime (2006) - Steelbook

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Romance
First Look Studios || R - 121 minutes - $19.98 || November 18, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-11-16


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Various
Writer(s): Various
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bob Hoskins, Emily Mortimer, Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Miranda Richardson, Gena Rowlands, Rufus Sewell, Elijah Wood


Theatrical Release Date: May 4, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • At the Heart of Paris je t'aime
  • The Making of Paris, je t'aime
  • Video Storyboard
  • Splot Screen Storyboard
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Paris, je t’aime (Paris, I Love You) is an anthology film, but this one is an ode to the City of Love, Paris. Each short film revolves around an arrondissment of Paris and is directed by various filmmakers from around the world. Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into with this film. Point in fact; I’ve only head about this film in passing. My only previous experience with an anthology film is the brilliant 1998 film, The Red Violin.

I won’t go through each short, just mention and talk about my favorites or those that stood out.

In “Tuileries”, directed by the Coen brothers, finds an American (Buscemi) confused in a subway, reading his Guide to Paris book about the Mona Lisa and places to visit. There is also a warning in this book that while the substations are clean and safe, you mustn’t make eye contact, which, unfortunately this poor guy does. Across the tracks he spots a young couple making out. They see him watching them and the Man Across the Tracks is displeased to say the least. This is a brilliant segment that stands out for the classic Cohen Brothers comedy along with a performance from Buscemi in which he literally says nothing.

Another favorite of mine, only because it stars the underrated Rufus Sewell (Dark City) and Emily Mortimer (Match Point), is “Père-Lachaise”. Directed by Wes Craven, it’s about a couple on their honeymoon, though not getting married for a month, with one wanting something from the other. This is not the strongest segment by any stretch, but for some reason, it stood out to me. This is, I believe, the point. Every segment could mean something different to others. Yes, even one called “The Vampire” has meaning. Also look for a great cameo by filmmaker Alexander Payne (who directs another segment later).

The ensemble cast is perfect. You get a good share of American, French and British actors of every caliber. One minute you will see Maggie Gyllenhaal, the next it’s Bob Hoskins and then Nick Nolte, Gena Rowlands, Natalie Portman or Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace).

As with any anthology film, it takes a certain taste to whether or not you will like it. For me, I enjoyed just about every minute of this journey, this love letter to Paris. But it’s not just a story about Paris, but about people in general. This is a story that no matter where you’re from, or how old you are, you can relate to somebody.

Other recognizable directors include Alfonso Cuaron (Y tu mama tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Gerard Depardieu, Walter Salles and Gus Van Sant. And fret not, there is a New York, I Love You on the way, supposedly getting a limited release in 2009.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Paris, je t’aime comes to DVD in a 2-disc Steelbook case. This set, minus the case, was already released as a “Two-Disc Limited Collector’s Edition” in November 2007, so I’m unsure why it’s getting another release (not that I’m complaining, otherwise I would not have gotten to see the movie).

As the Heart of Paris, je t’aime (25:51) is basically a Cliff’s Notes version of “The Making of...”. This contains clips from those featurettes and gives an overview of the movie.

The Making of Paris, je t’aime (135:00+) – 18 featurettes on each segment with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the filmmaker and cast. Each of these run around 7 minutes (and longer) and gives enough detail on how the directors or actors came on board and what they wanted to convey with their segment. Only complaint I had with this is there wasn’t a “Play All” option.

Last is a Video Storyboard (3:21), Split Screener Storyboard (5:04) and the theatrical trailer (2:26).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Given each segment has a different director with their own style, it’s tough to rate this overall. The transfer looks good and, I assume, as intended. Some scenes in certain segments were grainy while others were crystal clear. All depends on the director’s intention.

First Look Studios provides a Dolby Digital 5.1 track along with a DTS 5.1. I tried both and didn’t notice much difference between the two. The DTS track might’ve been a little louder, but that was it. Since it is a dialog-driven movie, and you can understand what’s being said, it’s good enough.



.::OVERALL::.

Paris, je t’aime isn’t for everyone. Some will fall immediately in love while others may fall immediately asleep. Personally, I enjoyed just about every segment and each flows well from one to the next. It’s certainly an interesting project bringing together all these filmmakers and cast members. This is a DVD that will remain in my collection and no doubt I’ll check out a segment or two in the near future.