Avenue Montaigne Danièle Thompson

Avenue Montaigne Danièle Thompson
Jessica, a coltish ingénue, flees her provincial home and a failed relationship in search of the glamorous life in Paris. She winds up on Avenue Montaigne, an exclusive shopping street in the eighth arrondissement, where she rapidly finds a waitressing job and becomes involved in the lives of several successful artistic types facing mid-career crises: Catherine, a middle-aged television actress who wants the chance to play serious parts; Jacques, a widowed art collector selling off his collection; and Jean-Francois, a concert pianist feeling suffocated by the elitist classical circuit. As all three prepare for what should be major successes (an auction, a recital and an opening night), each is inspired by Jessica’s youth and freshness to break free of their commercial success and rediscover the passion they once felt for their art. It’s not a particularly original story but this isn’t a film about originality. It is a film that references works that, however once revolutionary (Beethoven, Braque, Simone de Beauvoir), have now become cornerstones of a certain upper middle-class culture. Jessica does not move to Paris to meet young artists, or to hear new music, she moves there for luxury, and that is what we get: safe, symphony-subscriber art. This is a film for people who will chortle at jokes about Feydeau, or at the (hilarious) visual pun of the Sartre casting call. For all that, it is very well done, with a polished script by the mother and son team of Danièle and Christopher Thompson (Danièle directs, and Christopher also plays the son of the art collector). The performances are rich, especially former Eurovision wannabe Dani as Claudie, the theatre concierge who shows the truest passion in the film. The extras are all in French and include a passable "making of” doc, deleted scenes and a commentary by the director. (Th!nk)