Tag Archives: Charlotte Rampling

Young and Beautiful (Jeune Et Jolie)

Isabelle (played by Marine Vacth) is holidaying with her family in the south of France. They happily celebrate her seventeenth birthday in the summer sun and along the beach. One day, a holiday romance becomes her first sexual experience and in a less than romantic encounter she loses her virginity. When she and her family travel back to Paris, she’s curious to know more about sex so she secretly becomes a call girl. She meets several regular clients when her mother, Sylvie (by Géraldine Pailhas) thinks she’s either at school or studying with her friends. During one hotel liaison, Isabelle’s client Georges (by Johan Leysen) suddenly dies and she flees. When the police track her down and question her – she is unapologetic, but doesn’t behave like a victim either.  Her mother is horrified and her brother, Victor (by Fantin Ravat) is totally amazed – he wants to know more too.  Her life continues on and she tries to balance her adult experiences with her still maturing emotions.

This film is okay – of course the south of France and Paris are both lovely, but the story is strangely remote. I didn’t find Isabella particularly interesting at all, nor any of her family. The saviour for me is the cameo by Charlotte Rampling, but you need to wait quite a while for that. As a drama, it’s interesting in that you’d like to understand what makes this girl tick and what motivates her – she wants to have adult sexual interactions, but wants a teenage love affair with someone her own age too … difficult adolescent times, I suppose. I would be interested to see both Marine Vacth and Fantin Ravat in other things as I don’t think this is enough to judge. The director, François Ozon,  has also made “8 Women” and “Swimming Pool”, which I found far better than this one.

Made in 2013. Directed by François Ozon.

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Movies


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Swimming Pool

Sarah Morton (played by Charlotte Rampling) has written mystery novels for several years and she has a very successful career. When she starts her latest novel, she finds her home base in London a little too restrictive and seeks creative inspiration and a new environment. Her publisher, John Bosload (by Charles Dance) offers her a few weeks accommodation at his holiday villa in the South of France. She gladly accepts and immediately travels to Luberon. The villa is larger than she needs, but she settles in and happily gets to know her local village. She adapts to the European lifestyle very well and her creative instincts start to reawaken. This is just what she needs to get her writing back on track – until late one night, John’s 20-something daughter, Julie (by Ludivine Sagnier), a flightly, lazy and inconsiderate young woman, arrives unexpectedly. Sarah’s “British-ness” is jarred by Julie’s carefree and promiscuous lifestyle and the women clash. But then some unsettling events in the house lead Sarah to think a disappearance (even a murder) may have occurred – has it really? or is it just her mystery writer’s mind working overtime? 

This is a really entertaining thriller. It has been very well-made and is easy to watch. Charlotte Rampling is terrific and Charles Dance at his arrogant best. You will be taken in one direction, then suddenly realise things are heading elsewhere – which is delicious and very well done. Ludiine Sagnier is perfect as the sex-charged Julie and the setting in the South of France lends itself to a fabulously erotic and mysterious atmosphere – with the murky depths of the pool adding to the intrigue!  It’s very enjoyable.

Made 2003. Directed by François Ozon

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Movies


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Jonathan McQuarry (played by Ewan McGregor) is a mild-mannered accountant who audits the books of big companies in New York. He is a “numbers man” who leads a relatively solitary personal life with few friends and fewer female companions. One day at work he meets a smooth and charming corporate lawyer Wyatt Bose (by Hugh Jackman). He is instantly fascinated by him because he’s so different and they start to hang out together. Wyatt leaves for a London trip and in the last minute scramble to prepare he accidentally exchanges mobile phones with Jonathan. By chance, Jonathan discovers more about Wyatt’s personal life – he is a member of a sex club (The List) where all the members are nameless busy executives, arrangements are made by the women and liaisons are conducted in hotel rooms with no time for dinner, conversation and foreplay. After his initial shock, Jonathan willingly takes part and he meets S, (by Michelle Williams) – who is the same girl he’d seen on the subway some weeks before. After one liaison with S, she goes missing and Jonathan is desperate to find her. He soon realises that the world Wyatt has exposed him to is not quite as it seems and Jonathan is faced with opposing demands on his loyalty, courage and honesty.

I liked this movie. It offers a very intriguing start and the audience immediately wonders about the two key characters Jonathan and Wyatt. Hugh Jackman is excellent as Wyatt – a charming but highly intelligent, deceptive and evil man, and Ewan McGregor’s nerdy loner Jonathan is just delightful. Michelle Willilams plays the sexy mystery woman very well, with just a hint of innocence. The camerawork and cinematography is interesting.  The first two thirds of the movie are dark, moody and create huge mystery and atmosphere, then in the final third – whilst issues and mysteries are still not resolved, the movie comes into the light. Which is appropriate for the ending – although the concluding scenes do not quite live up to the promise of the earlier parts of the story. One of the very nice revelations is that in an early scene we meet a very senior executive member of The List – Charlotte Rampling – and she plays this part to a tee, very well done!

(Made in 2008)  Directed by Marcel Langenegger

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Movies


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Never Let Me Go

After a breakthrough in medical science in 1952, things have progressed well and by the 1970’s human life expectancy has reached more than 100 years. To support this longevity in society, Halisham is one of several seemingly “idyllic” and proper English boarding schools that is participating in a National Organ Donor Program to raise and educate an entire community of “very special” children. We meet students Cathy (played by Carey Mulligan), Ruth (by Keira Knightley) and Tommy (by Andrew Garfield) who have lived at the school in a sheltered, highly disciplined and closely controlled life since their birth. When a new teacher Miss Lucy (by Sally Hawkins) arrives at school, she reveals to the children that theirs is a life with a purpose – they have been created and raised as donor humans to provide body parts for the people who need them in the “outside world”.  At first the children are too young to understand the entire scenario and live in a world of stories and fantasy about the school – perpetuated by the staff and the particularly cold-hearted Headmistress (by Charlotte Rampling) – and they have no way to validate what’s true and what isn’t. The children learn that as young adults, each will begin the donation process until their body is no longer able to function with its missing parts and then the donor will achieve “completion”.

This movie is an adaptation of the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and it introduces a fascinating but horrific concept. We watch these three people develop into their young adulthood, trying to understand their feelings for each other and their eventual experiences of donation. Their lives are stark and due to their isolation since birth their relationships are immature and awkward. However, its interesting to watch this sci-fi scenario play out.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Movies


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The Eye of the Storm

In “The Eye of the Storm” Charlotte Rampling plays the matriarch of a well-to-do and affluent family, with Australian actors Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush as her daughter and son (respectively) who have a fractured relationship with their mother, but arrive at her deathbed-side to make sure they are visible enough to get their inheritances. The movie is made in Australia and the cast also includes many other great Australian actors. It is a very good drama, with a plot that meanders to various places, with interesting characters and it is beautifully made by Fred Schepsi. It is perhaps a little too long, but a good drama. The screenplay has been adapted from the ninth published novel by Australian novelist and 1973 Nobel Prize-winner, Patrick White.

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Movies


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