Un air de famille

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  • NR
  • 1996
  • 7.4  (5,456)

Un air de famille is a French comedy-drama film directed by Cedric Klapisch and released in 1996. The film features an ensemble cast, including Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Catherine Frot, Agnès Jaoui, Claire Maurier, Wladimir Yordanoff and Zinedine Soualem. The story centers around a dysfunctional family who gathers at a bar in a working-class suburb of Paris to celebrate the birthday of their aging mother. As the evening progresses, tensions rise and long-held grudges and secrets begin to surface.

Bacri stars as Henri, the eldest brother who is bitter about the way his life has turned out. His younger siblings include Vincent (Darroussin), a man who feels trapped by his marriage, and Betty (Jaoui), a woman who is struggling to come to terms with her own identity. Catherine Frot plays their mother, Yolande, a woman who is caught between her children's conflicting expectations and desires.

The film is structured as a series of conversations between the characters, which take place over the course of the evening. The dialogue is sharp and witty, with Klapisch and his co-writer, Agnes Jaoui, masterfully capturing the nuances of family dynamics.

Un air de famille is also notable for its use of camera techniques. The film is shot in a way that makes it feel like a play, with long takes and minimal camera movement. The effect is to create a sense of intimacy and claustrophobia, as if the viewer is also trapped in the bar with the characters.

Despite the dark subject matter, Un air de famille is a funny and poignant film. The humor comes primarily from the interplay between the characters, with each actor delivering a standout performance. Bacri, in particular, is outstanding as Henri, bringing a sense of weariness and world-weariness to the role.

The film is also notable for its portrayal of working-class life in contemporary France. Klapisch and Jaoui show a deep understanding of the struggles facing people in this milieu, capturing the feeling of frustration and disillusionment that permeates the lives of their characters. Yet, despite this bleak outlook, Un air de famille ultimately manages to find moments of hope and joy.

Overall, Un air de famille is a thoughtful and engaging film that delves deep into the complexities of family relationships. It is a testament to the talents of its cast and crew, offering both laughs and tears in equal measure.

Un air de famille
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    7.4  (5,456)