Apartment (Version française) [Import]
|Price:||CDN$ 13.19 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35. Details|
Frequently Bought Together
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
A man walks away from his current life to look for his ex-girlfriend, the love of his life, finds her apartment and becomes involved with her roommate who is also dating his best friend.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 1-MAY-2007
Media Type: DVD
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
There are English subtitles available with either film.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If that were the only reason I did not think much of this movie I would accept the mediocre quality and move on. But there are many other things that make this quite second-rate. One can start with the plot. It is not only convoluted but trite as well.
Yes, it is a story of obsessive love. Since you may not be able to tell the obsessives without a scorecard, and it does not give anything away, Max (Vincent Cassel) obsesses about Lisa (Monica Belluci), Alice (Romane Bohringer, a dead-ringer for Tracey Ullman) obsesses about Max. Daniel brings up the rear obsessing about Lisa. Lucien, Max's best friend, dates Alice but does not obsess. He is normal and, therefore, clueless throughout.
Max obsessively (of course) cancels an important business trip to Tokyo when he thinks he has heard Lisa's voice in a phone booth coming through a vent into a bathroom he is using at a hotel. He later thinks he sees her on the street, ala Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. He believes that she left him without a word two years previously after they had been happily living together. Little does he know. Telling you what Alice does would give the "mystery" away. Let's just say it has been done much more artfully in other movies.
Bohringer and Cassel render poor performances as obsessive lovers. Neither is very convincing. What agony or ecstasy they show looks very much like they are trying to act; so unconvincing. Daniel, the third obsessive lover is not in the movie enough to show either emotion. It is probably just as well. Daniel's character is so poorly developed that one can find nothing but a bad temper to provide motivation for the final scene with Belluci's Lisa. Very weak. Belluci's talent is terribly underutilized in this movie. Her talent, as showcased in "Malena," is well hidden here.
The writer-director Gilles Mimouni is all too obvious in his attempt to imitate Alfred Hitchcock. If you want a Hitchcock imitator watch Brian De Palma movies. It seems that De Palma has spent his whole career trying to imitate Hitchcock and he does a much better job than Mimouni. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery but it is not the road to originality. The musical score is basic De Palma. It never changes its rhythm. It is relentlessly dark in mood regardless of the scene. It sounds like it was recorded in an echo chamber
If you want to see the torture and agony of obsessive love brilliantly acted, directed, and beautifully filmed, skip this movie and buy "Vertigo." It also has a gorgeous film score. If you have already seen "Vertigo," skip this movie anyway. Hitchcock never had to resort to people just barely missing each other as often as this movie does in order to create suspense. The myriad of "just missed" coincidences is a hackneyed made-for-TV convention not suitable for adult viewing.
I have no idea why this movie was ever titled "The Apartment." Almost nothing happens there until the final scene. It could just as easily have been called "The Cafe", "The Bar", or "Lucien's Shoe Store" for that matter. More action occurs in those locations than in the apartment.
Nothing in this movie seems real. That is not to give it credit as surreal. It is to say that it is not believable; even for one willing to temporarily suspend their sense of disbelief. The fact that Max would have any attraction for Alice after he finds out what she has done is a prime example of art not imitating life at all.
Buy this movie only at a "going-out-of business" sale. I mean cheap.
Years passed and I occasionally would view my DVD copy of Wicker Park, if only to be mesmerized over the beautiful song that plays during the opening credits as Hartnett's Matthew shivers and struts through Chicago's streets, and fascinated with breathtaking snowy scenes shot both in "the Windy City" and, farther north, in Québec province. Eventually, I couldn't take the torture anymore and turned to Turner Classic Movies' (TCM) website in July 2013, et voilà ... I purchased my copy of L'Appartement, the subject of this review on Amazon.com.
An aficionada of French films, I was a bit leery as I opened the DVD case because I was pondering: What if L'Appartement is the one French movie that isn't better than its American remake? I allowed my mind to wander to a few tepid American re-don'ts including The Man Who Loved Women; My Father, the Hero; and Intersection. Then I remembered how watchable Unfaithful was and turned anxious. But then I recalled how Unfaithful wasted Richard Gere's enraged-husband potential (he was an implausible adulterer in Intersection), teased me with Olivier Martinez's virility and gorgeousness in the role of Paul, and got by on Hollywood good girl Diane Lane's sensually neurotic performance as Constance. By the time I tapped the "Play" button, I was ready. For years I had yearned to discover what was missing in Wicker Park. The answer was emotional depth and existential intensity.
Portraying la femme fatale in L'Appartement is Monica Bellucci; in Wicker Park, Diane Kruger. That both Bellucci and Kruger play a woman named Lisa is just one nod to cinematic master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock although only one of the ladies (Kruger) is a blonde. (Hitch fans may recall Grace Kelly's stunning Lisa Freemont in Rear Window as well as the subliminal theme song "Lisa" that wafts across the Greenwich Village courtyard in various incomplete stages whenever the songwriter-neighbor goes to pieces at the piano in his apartment across from invalid voyeur and photographer L.B. Jeffries' [the excellently "cast" Jimmy Stewart].) However, other references in both L'Appartement and Wicker Park to Rear Window and to other Hitchcock films (Vertigo, Spellbound and Marnie immediately come to mind) aren't so obvious in the sense that they can't be seen or heard but felt. The protagonists' brooding temperaments contrast with euphoria; visual blurriness contrasts with mental clarity; and darkness explodes into light -- all of which are part of all the aforementioned films' intricate puzzles that will draw you into the intersection of memory and obsession. But L'Appartement's puzzle may leave you nearly as traumatized as Max in the way that Rear Window's whomayhavedunit left you nearly as alienated (though, eventually, vindicated) as Stewart's L.B. Jeffries.
My purpose in reviewing such a rare DVD as L'Appartement (The Apartment) is twofold: to turn on people who are shy to viewing foreign films by offering one that is refreshingly original, and to satisfy fruitless searches for this DVD by people who appreciate la cinema française. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than a handful of Amazoners in the United States alone who always have wanted to see tour de force Cassel portray Max, a young man so involved in a frantic search shaped by romantic and erotic obsession that he becomes subsumed to the point of insanity. Besides Hitchcock films, not since Frantic -- an unfairly underrated suspense film by Roman Polanski starring Harrison Ford -- have I been so riveted by such an obsessed protagonist as Cassel's Max.
Before Frantic I would say Last Tango in Paris (in which it is implied that conventional intercourse is passé, evidenced by the reckless and degrading carnality taking place inside a barebones Passy apartment in the "City of Light"), which starred Brando in the grotesque role of a debauched widower and war veteran, was the last time I was affected so emotionally on the theme of obsession. Admittedly however, L'Appartement (The Apartment), unlike Last Tango in Paris, attracts more sympathy from viewers because we -- no matter what gender -- find ourselves getting more and more absorbed in Max's stream of consciousness and rooting for his love quest with each compelling frame.
Suffice it to say: Mimouni's L'Appartement is a brilliant film and, unlike Wicker Park, is not for the faint of heart.
The movie itself is tortuously complex and riven with holes, most notably: Cassel's Max (rising corporate hotshot and fixer) is tasked with flying to Tokyo to swing some major deal. But he [THINKS HE] overhears Bellucci's Lisa - his erstwhile lover and one-time _almost_ live-in mate - in a happenstance semi-encounter and becomes frantic to track her down. So, what to do? He pretends to wing it to Tokyo, goes out the backdoor of the airport (passing the fiancée, Muriel, who dropped him in the process), calls the high-profile clients in Tokyo telling them he's been unavoidably detained, and makes calls from Paris to Muriel pretending he's in Tokyo. Muriel is, by the way, Max's CEO's sister...but no big deal to the director: nothing ever really becomes of all this. Huh? In real life, Max's ruse would be found out in a day, and the film's entire premise shot. But, whatever, right? It annoyed me that something that blatant would essentially pass unnoticed.
The movie's second-half turns into a head-spinning roundelay between Lisa, Max, Lisa's spurned friend Alice (or is she Lisa?) and Max's friend Lucien. Despite the complexities and bulldozer-sized plot holes, The Apartment still made for 2 hours of enjoyable watching. Writer/Director Gilles Mimouni (Wicker Park) employs a really neat trick of showing you an event from a character's point-of-view, then revealing, say, 40 minutes more of the story, and then showing you the event again from another character's point of view...by which time the quizzical first-time showing has new meaning and gives you an 'ah ha!' moment. It's very carefully constructed and artful stuff.
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > France > Drama
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > Italy
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > Spain
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Genre > Drama
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Genre > Mystery & Suspense
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Genre > Romance
- Movies & TV > Comedy > Romantic Comedies
- Movies & TV > Drama > Love & Romance > Love Triangle
- Movies & TV > Drama > Love & Romance > Romance
- Movies & TV > Drama > Love & Romance > Star-Crossed Lovers
- Movies & TV > En français > Action, Aventure, Policier et Thriller > Policier et Thriller
- Movies & TV > En français > Comédie > Comédies dramatiques
- Movies & TV > En français > Comédie > Comédies policières
- Movies & TV > En français > Comédie > Comédies romantiques
- Movies & TV > En français > Drame > Drames psychologiques
- Movies & TV > En français > Drame > Drames romantiques
- Movies & TV > En français > Enfants, Jeunesse et Famille > Films > Comédie
- Movies & TV > Mystery & Suspense > Mystery