Arctic air is blowing, the sun is setting much too early, and the DC weather forecast is threatening snow. It's the perfect time of year to catch up on my movie-watching. After one of my good friends (and fellow-Francophile) suggested I might enjoy Paris, a film by the director of L'Auberge Espagnole, I promptly borrowed her copy and settled in to watch it with a comfort food dinner and a glass of vin rouge.
Paris reminded me a lot of Paris, je t'aime. Both films follow the lives of numerous Parisians in order to offer a glimpse of life in the city from multiple perspectives. However, in Paris, je t'aime we see very distinct and separated vignettes, whereas in Paris the lives of all of the characters flow together, their paths crossing through a variety of encounters and happenstances.
The film spends most of its time on the story of Pierre, who needs a heart transplant, and his sister Élise (played by one of my favorites: Juliette Binoche), who is a single mother and social worker. But I found all of the stories compelling. It was a French film to be sure - offering not so much a happy ending as a question mark regarding the future. Yet, somehow this dark thoughtfulness seemed fitting for the dark winter season. And I never get tired of seeing familiar places in Paris flash across the screen.