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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In The French Style (1963)

A young American girl (Jean Seberg) has come to Paris to paint. But soon art takes a backseat to a semi-hedonistic lifestyle of parties and affairs among the sophisticated and somewhat jaded "artsy" set. This is a lovely film. If anyone still needs proof that Seberg could act, this film ought to settle that. She's effortlessly convincing as the naive mid-western teenager out of her element and seamlessly morphing into the soignee darling of the jet set. Based on the novel by Irwin Shaw (RICH MAN POOR MAN) who also did the screenplay and co-produced, the film once again has Seberg as the Henry Jamesian like heroine (think DAISY MILLER), the unsophisticated American ingenue ripe for European corruption. Her character is even named Christine James. But it's more than that, it explores the basic need to belong to someone amongst a crowd that considers such feelings petit bourgeois. Directed by Robert Parrish and handsomely shot in B&W by Michel Kelber (Renoir's FRENCH CAN-CAN). With Stanley Baker, Philippe Forquet, Claudine Auger, Addison Powell, Jack Hedley and James Leo Herlihy (the author of MIDNIGHT COWBOY) as Seberg's suitor.

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