If most Indian movies are insufferable trash, American movies are increasingly soulless bilge these days.
Hollywood’s reliance on the computer gimmickry of Ironman, Spiderman, Superman, Batman or a vampire has become tiresome, at least to yours truly.
It seems European filmmakers are the only ones who still make movies centered around real-life people.
And more importantly, European films have a heart.
Since French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Danish filmmakers are not as flush with cash as Hollywood or Bollywood, they must perforce invest their movies with a story, one that can strike a chord with audiences, and soul-stirring acting.
My Piece of the Pie – Decent Stuff
This evening as part of my current fixation with European films, I sat down to watch the French movie Ma part du gâteau (My Piece of the Pie, 2011).
Cédric Klapisch directed and wrote the screenplay.
Klapisch is no stranger to moi.
I watched Klapisch’s Paris last year and was bowled away by it.
Alas, My Piece of the Pie is not in the same league as Paris.
Although I wouldn’t consider My Piece of the Pie extraordinary, on the whole I was not displeased with it.
The acting, particularly by Karin Viard, stands out.
And the story has a connection with the current hot subject of financial institutions, and how traders run amok and destroy companies to pocket their millions.
As factories are ruined, workers of several years standing are thrown out of their jobs.
France (Karin Viard), a 42-year-old divorced mother of four young girls, tries to commit suicide after the factory she’s been working at for two decades closes. Some traders in London have brought the factory down through their financial skullduggery.
France survives but job options in Dunkirk are limited.
Desperate for a job, she moves to Paris where she lands a job as a housemaid with a hedge fund operative Steve (Gilles Lellouche), ironically the same person responsible for causing her factory in Dunkirk to close down.
Good as Gilles Lellouche is in the acting department, he’s no match for the talent that Karin Viard oozes out of every pore of her body.
Winner of several awards, Karin Viard is, simply put, superb.
I also got the feeling that the story was not as well-written in the last third of the movie as it was in the earlier portions.
The ending turned out to be more than a tad unrealistic, even if it gladdened the heart over the retributive justice aspect of it all.
But life doesn’t work that away.
One of the great problems of workers everywhere, and countless Marxists have futilely bewailed it, is their lack of class consciousness despite their extraordinary exploitation.
It’d be nice to see a present-day European filmmaker explore that subject within the framework of a feature film.
My Piece of the Pie is available for streaming on Netflix Instant with English subtitles.