July 24, 2014 | Rome, Italy | Partly Cloudy 21°C
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Biopics

J. Edgar

A nuanced Leonardo DiCaprio charges up Clint Eastwood's history of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.

Drama

Le Meraviglie (The Wonders)

A story about bee keepers in Tuscany runs several levels deeper than appearances.

The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey's forty-something comeback began in Brad Furman's hands.

Science Fiction

Elysium

South African Neill Bloomkamp never gains traction in a hackneyed sci-fi fantasy.

Peggy Sue Got Married

Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married" still stands out as a top-notch fantasy charmer.

The Double

British director Richard Ayoade gets tangled up in noir-bizarre and loses the plot.

Chronicle

Josh Trank's cautionary tale about superpowered-adolescence is sneaky smart.

War

Sink the Bismarck!

Lewis Gilbert's 1960 standard sets a high mark for World War II dramatizations.

Fantasy

Enemy

Two Jake Gyllenhaals aren't enough to carry a Canadian thriller about doppelgangers.

The Faculty

Robert Rodriguez does something special with his high school horror flick.




Date: 2014
Directed by: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Starring: Sonia Theis-Litzemburger, Joseph Bour, Mario Theis, Samuel Theis, Séverine Litzenburger, Cynthia Litzenburger

Party Girl

Can a zebra change its stripes? That's the essential question driving "Party Girl." Sixty-something Angélique (Angélique Litzenburger) long ago settled into a routine of plying customers and herself with drinks in a nightclub on the French-German border in Lorraine. She dances and charms in two languages. At the end of the night, in a boozy haze, she staggers upstairs to her little room- unless she's going out with "the girls" for more carousing and breakfast.

All that changes when Angélique heads off to see Michel (Joseph Bour). A former client, retired miner Michel has tired of the nightclub world, but not of Angélique, to whom he proposes. Most of the film's action leads up to the wedding. Michel is tested but never wavers, while Angélique struggles with the loss of freedom.

The behavior of Angélique's grown children — adult sons Mario and Samuel (Mario Theis and Samuel Theis, who also co-directs and writes) and daughter Séverine (Séverine Litzenburger) —is in fascinating counterpoint to the impending marriage. At one point Paris-based Samuel, via Skype, helps Angélique compose a letter of her estranged 16-year old daughter, Cynthia (Cynthia Litzenburger). Their chat is poignant and funny.

Directors Marie Amachoukeli, Burger, and Samuel Theis strike a fine balance of tension, drama, and humor in probing free spirit Angélique's ambiguity in getting out of the business in favor of domestic life. They pull us vividly into working-class lives. Angélique is larger than life, full of warmth, mystery and allure. She also walks a thin line between fun and personal ruin. Her party girl life is so entwined with the lives of those around her that we inevitably cheer for them all.

Reviewed by: Judy Edelhoff
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