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Cedric Klapisch, whose When the Cat's Away and The Spanish Apartment delighted in the bonds of tight community, here extends his attention to all of Paris. This multi-character cavalcade of life and death and love and the lack of it in the City of Lights almost seems intended to leave audiences wanting more. Romain Duris plays a cabaret dancer awaiting heart surgery. Juliette Binoche is his social-worker sister who moves in to help. Local stallholders are among the many whose lives intersect with hers. Carpe diem is the message and Fabrice Luchini plays a jaded history professor who does just that with a beautiful young student.


Directed by

  • Cedric Klapisch('The Russian Dolls', 'The Spanish Apartment', 'When The Cat's Away')

Comedy, Drama, Romance


Rating: M offensive language

French and English, with English subtitles


Official Site


Given that Paris is arguably the most gorgeous and romantic example of urban sprawl in the world, it takes a special film to live up to that title. Cedric Klapisch's multi-layered love letter to his home city nails it.

It starts with a stunning view from the Eiffel Tower (naturellement), ends with a cab ride through the streets, and in between it hops sure-footedly between themes of love, death, family and identity without ever becoming messy.

As with the forthcoming Flight Of The Red Balloon (also Paris-based and starring Binoche), the city itself becomes a character - by the time the credits roll you'll be aching to book a European vacation. But Paris (the film) is much bigger in scope than the tightly-focussed Balloon... and while never straying into stylised Amelie territory, it paints its pictures in brighter hues.

The ensemble cast is terrific too - Binoche at her most dusky and sweet, Romain Duris playing her sick brother without ever straying into melodrama, Fabrice Luchini almost stealing the show as a middle aged history professor sending saucy text messages to a student. Every character is as textured and real as the bustling boulevards and sumptuous skylines behind them - and every little story within the story goes deep.

More than a snapshot of city life, Paris is a three-dimensional soul-searching experience to make you laugh, cry and start saving for that holiday. C'est bon. C'est trés, trés bon.

Lumiere Reader [Wellington]


As is the nature of any multi-character cavalcade, the film suffers from a lack of exposition. Characters are introduced and just as quickly dropped. A plot line regarding a Cameroonian's attempt to illegally make his way to France shows great potential, but is frustratingly underdeveloped. Fortunately, Duris is there as the film's glue, pulling the picture back together whenever it threatens to fall apart. While it might lack a certain emotional gravitas, Paris is none-the-less a lighthearted and satisfying ode to the City of Love.

Plume Noir


The problem, if you're familiar with French cinema, is that you've seen these kinds of Parisian characters a million times, which turns this film into a cliched social commentary piece.

Urban Cinefile [Australia]


Klapisch weaves a fascinating web with this diverse collection of characters, some of whom discover what they want only after being exposed to what they do not want. Like the circular nature of the environs of Paris, the story always comes back to Pierre; Duris is intense, enigmatic and charismatic. I wanted to jump on the next plane to Paris; but if travel is not an option, Klapisch's film is a rich and satisfying indulgence.

Variety [USA]


Gallic helmer Cedric Klapisch ("L'Auberge espagnole") stays well within his comfort zone in every sense with "Paris." Likeable if hardly groundbreaking dramedy features most of Klapisch's favorite elements, including romantic angst, crisscrossing storylines, thesp Romain Duris (leading a big-name ensemble that includes Juliette Binoche) and the real star of the show, the City of Lights itself.