Friday, June 1, 2012

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)
American Translation (2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Pascal Arnold, Jean-Marc Barr
Starring: Lizzie Brocheré, Pierre Perrier
Language: French, English
Duration: 114 min.
Rating: 6.4
Summary:
From the moment they meet, brooding Chris and the beautiful Aurore fall instantly and passionately in love but it's not long before their intense connection is consumed by Chris's dark obsession.
American Translation is a film co-directed by Pascal Arnold and Jean-Marc Barr. The fifth collaboration between French writer/director Arnold and American actor/director Barr, best known for his role in Luc Besson's 1988 film The Big Blue, as well as appearing in several films by Danish director Lars von Trier.

The film follows the story of Chris (Pierre Perrier), an attractive young brooding Frenchman and Aurore (Lizzie Brocheré), a rich American daddy's girl. Two psychologically damaged individuals who embark on an intense love affair that quickly turns into an uncontrollable crime spree.

It's actually quite well made, with a highly charismatic duo who turn in very courageous performances, their scorching onscreen chemistry aided by already having acted together in Arnold and Barr's 2006 film One Two Another; there's a solid natural visual aesthetic heavily inspired by Dogme 95 that lends an overall uneasy voyeuristic feeling; and it's paced with a terrific thumping soundtrack featuring Devo, ELO, and French electro rockers Poni Hoax.

But despite all this, the film has a couple crucial flaws. For one, it lacks originality; owing to its highly sexually explicit and violent nature, this film is obviously only going to attract the interest of a very limited audience; and it fails to offer us anything new or shocking that hasn't already been shown or done better by the likes of Breillat, Noé, Ozon, Dumont, or even Oliver Stone many times before.

It also fails to satisfactorily explore and develop both lead characters. We learn everything of Chris' sordid past and his character progression is fully formed and credible, but we didn't need that, it's easy enough to fill in his details, because we've seen and read about his story in the daily news a million times before. Aurore is the character we are most interested in, and there the directors frustratingly squander Brocheré's terrific bilingual performance, leaving us with only the barest of hints as to her real motivations.

There are a couple of great individual sequences including one unforgettable lap-dance and also a well executed ending that prevent American Translation from being a complete waste of time, but it doesn't exactly deliver anything profound or thought provoking either. It appears as though the New French Extremity has finally run its course. Once all the boundaries have been broken, you have to go back to making real compelling cinema to be noteworthy, and this I'm afraid, is neither.
Bonjour Tristesse
American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

American Translation (2011)

18 comments:

d_4 said...

I was confused between the cheesy faces in sky cover and the decently made trailer. You pretty much cleared it up though. For me. Just eh I guess.

FrontRoomCinema said...

I will probably give this a miss. I take it that this is not one to watch with your Mum? right?

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's really not a bad film just kind of pointless, and yeah that dreadful poster doesn't help its case much.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Haha. Most certainly not my mother.

Michaël Parent said...

Like any "wave" every good thing must end some time... I'll skip it doesn't look like my cup of tea. Great review!

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

Lap-dance you say? hehehehe. Oh wait, this ain't Beasts in Human Skin....

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks yeah I'm not sure if it could be anyone's cup of tea, but it had the potential to at least say something relevant or controversial and didn't.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Hehe. I do love the films he showcases, but only in moderate doses. Like a guilty treat every once in awhile.

FilmMasterT said...

Good review man. I was just wonder about your blog layout. Clearly you have done some coding. Were did you find the html code for the menu bar at the top and the recent/popular/archive all in one thing?

FilmMasterT said...

Oh I see it must be an entire theme. SO all the elements are not separately added. Where'd your theme come from?

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks.

For the tabbed widget, I have written a tutorial about it on my secondary blog here: http://stupidblogtricks.blogspot.ca/2011/06/blogger-tabbed-sidebar-widget.html

As for the menu bar, it was coded from scratch, borrowing ideas here and there from sites I like. I do plan on making a tutorial for it but just haven't found the time/motivation to do it yet.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's not an available theme. Well the base theme is the default Blogger 'awesome' theme, but I've heavily modified everything by hand.

FilmMasterT said...

oh well, good job on that! I found a good code for a menu bar so i'll see how it goes. Thanks for the link.

FilmMasterT said...

WAIT YOU RUN THAT BLOG! I use it sometimes! GOOD WORK!

FilmMasterT said...

impressively done.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thank you! A lot of work went into it so it's nice to be noticed.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

This dress is ABSOLUTELY amazing! You look stunning. Everything about this
look is perfect. So magical to be part of the 168 Film Festival Awards!!!
Best,
actress
is Sabrina
Culver
.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Do you have all the soundtrack? I love it and I can't find it.

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