New on DVD and Blu-ray: Paris
Maybe it's just the pessimist in me: When I see a tall building in a film, I expect someone to jump. And Paris is a film with so much angst, the aerial shots of its title metropolis, shot from high atop the Eiffel and Montparnasse Towers, lend the film not just a sense of breathtaking beauty, but a tinge of ominousness as well. The film begins with the story of Pierre, a dancer who learns he has a bad heart and is slowly dying. Eventually, death is everywhere, whether it's the burial of an elderly parent, a fatal accident, or the Woody Allen-type neurotic perv just fretting about his own moribundity. The multiple intersecting stories in the film vary in size -- some are just blips with vague, unseen conclusions -- but the real anchor to the film is Juliette Binoche, very much alive but lacking in the joie de as she deals with the deathly proceedings around her.
Ultimately, however, this isn't a film about death so much as it's a film about coping with life. Yes, even natives of the City of Lights have to cope. At film's end, Pierre, played by actor Romain Duris, says "That's Paris -- no one's ever happy." That certainly takes the romance out of the city of light and injects it with a reality that we foreigners probably don't want to see when we visit. It doesn't make the city any less beautiful though.
The making-of feature included in the DVD and Blu-Ray shows the entire process of making the film, starting with principal shooting in 2006 and the two years it took to make the rest of the movie. It pays detailed attention to the relationship between actors and director, down to suggested line readings and how to frame a scene. Paris is not a depressing film and, not to worry, no one actually jumps off any buildings; it's just a film about making the best of the hand you're dealt.
Buyer, Renter, Coaster: Renter
Amazon DVD Price: $14.99
Amazon Blu-Ray Price: $26.49