Fiona (Fiona Gordon) is a lean, clumsy Canadian, a kind of "Aunt Horse". She lives in a small snow-covered town in the mountains of Canada, works as a librarian. At some point, Fiona receives a letter from her aunt Martha (Emmanuelle Riva), who has lived in Paris for the past forty-eight years. Attached to the letter is a note stating that the postman found this letter in a garbage can next to the mailbox and considered it necessary to send it anyway.
Martha writes that social services want to send her to a nursing home under the pretext that she, they say, cannot take care of herself. And it's funny, Martha says, because she's only eighty-eight years old. In short, Martha asks Fiona to fly to Paris to help her fight off social services.
Fiona packs up a hefty backpack and flies to Paris - she has always dreamed of visiting Paris. But there she has a rather difficult time: Fiona hardly speaks French, and in Paris very few people speak English. At the same time, Martha does not open the door and does not answer Fiona's phone calls.
And then, as a result of a small fall in the Seine, Fiona loses both her backpack with all the money and documents, and her phone, so the situation becomes extremely difficult.
The backpack falls into the hands of Dominic (Dominic Abel) - a cute klochar who lives in a tent right under the Statue of Liberty. Dominic is terribly happy about the find: there are things, and a rather large amount of money. Now Dominic will be able to dress up and throw himself a sumptuous dinner at a restaurant on the water. Fiona will come to eat at the same restaurant.
Belgian Dominique Abel and Canadian Fiona Gordon met in Paris: they both studied at the theater studio of Jacques Lecoq. They created a creative tandem: they wrote scripts for their performances and toured different countries, they also staged several short films together. In 1987, the couple officially got married.
In 2005, Dominique and Fiona, in collaboration with director Bruno Romy, shot a feature-length film "Iceberg" according to their script, and they played the main roles in the film. The picture was well received, after which Dominic, Fiona and Romy shot two more films: "Rumba" and "Fairy", for which they also wrote the script and in which they played the main roles.
"Miracles in Paris" (original title translates as "Barefoot Paris") is the first film that Dominique and Fiona shot without Bruno Romy. They traditionally played the main roles, and the role of Aunt Martha was performed by the legendary French actress Emmanuelle Riva. Unfortunately, Emmanuelle Riva did not live to see the release of the film: she died in her ninetieth year, two months before the release of the picture.
Also in one of the episodes of the picture, Pierre Richard appears: he plays an old friend of Martha Norman, with whom she danced more than forty years ago.
I did not know anything about the films of this tandem, but about "Miracles in Paris" I saw a mention in a friend's Facebook feed, where the picture was recommended as a Franco-Belgian arthouse. Well, arthouse and arthouse are different, and from time to time I want to see something non-standard, because you get pretty tired of all this mainstream endless stamping, I want to break the stereotype.
So, that there will be a breakdown of the stereotype - it became clear literally in the second minute, when the postman who brought the letter to Fiona was fighting a blizzard to close the door, and people in the room were taking the "gone with the wind" posture.
Well, then a specific shizuha went: awkward Fiona with her ridiculous huge red backpack, with which she goes through the entire film, except for a period of short separation, cool clochard Dominic, who will fall in love with Fiona, and she will have little chance of getting rid of Dominic, Aunt Martha , who pulled off a clever combination to get rid of the guardianship authorities, the funeral of Aunt Martha, the scattering of Martha and Dominic's ashes, Fiona, Dominic and Martha's walks in the Eiffel Tower, again scattering Martha's ashes - in this sequence.
All this was filmed very, very unusual, the style is somewhat reminiscent of old silent comedies, although the film is sound and the characters from time to time talk and even make speeches. It has a lot of bright colors, and Fiona and Dominic are two color spots of the two main characters: Fiona in green, Dominic in yellow.
Fiona's dance with Dominic in a floating restaurant, when they first met, was absolutely gorgeous, I then watched it a couple of times. Dominic's inspiring speech at Aunt Martha's funeral, where he began for health and ended for some reason for peace, fits well into the atmosphere of the slight madness that reigns in this film.
The older generation, in the person of Pierre Richard and Emmanuel Riva, also flashed with the dance - it is true, it was a dance of only legs, but it was invented and staged absolutely wonderfully, just an episode of Chaplin level!
The scattering of Aunt Martha's ashes, on the one hand, brought to mind a similar episode from The Bolshoi Lebowski, but here everything was decided in a completely original way and in its own way, and it also turned out to be an excellent episode.
The picture is very unusual, surely not everyone will like it. I think that ninety percent of people who tried to watch it just out of interest will stop watching it somewhere in the tenth or fifteenth minute, because they are simply not used to such a cinema language. And I really like the atmosphere of a kind of kinoshizuha, and the shizuha is fun, not confused. Of the more or less similar in style cinema - my favorite is "In a still whirlpool" by Bruno Dumont, although that film is much more black-funny.
Here everything is more fun and romantic. And that the main characters are two complete freaks, well, that's great, because, firstly, Fiona and Dominica are charming freaks, and secondly, freaks have a right to happiness, don't they?
But be careful. If you suddenly, for some strange reason, like this film, then there is a danger of getting hooked on the work of this couple: for example, I will definitely watch "Rumba" now, and I will also try "Iceberg" if I find it.
PS Now the question is: where to get it, if suddenly something (and it was not released in the license, that's why I am writing)? There is here and here the same quality with the same polyphonic voover. The translation seems to be quite decent, and the text there is simple.