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Cast: Alec Baldwin, Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard and Cédric Monnet
Synopsis: Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne's senses and giving her a new lust for life. "Charming, soulful and wise, this delicious fantasy is a cinematic treat."--Los Angeles Times
Running Time: 94 Minutes (plus 8-10 minutes of trailers)
Camera 3 DowntownBuy Tickets Mon, Wed-Thu at 6:20; Tue, Fri Does Not Show; Sat-Sun at 11:00am
Diane Lane stops to sip the rosé in Eleanor Coppola's wise and winsome 'Paris Can Wait'
By Katie Walsh
At the age of 81, Eleanor Coppola makes her narrative feature directorial debut with “Paris Can Wait,” a winsome tale of a road trip through the French countryside starring Diane Lane. Coppola, who previously directed shorts and documentaries, including “Hearts of Darkness,” about the making of “Apocalypse Now,” took inspiration from her own impromptu road trip from Cannes to Paris with a French associate while her husband Francis Ford Coppola traveled for work. The result is a film worth savoring; a celebration of food, wine and stopping to smell the roses.
Lane stars as Anne, the wife of an all-business film producer, Michael (Alec Baldwin). When an ear infection prevents her from flying to Budapest with him, she catches a ride with Jacques (French actor-director Arnaud Viard), an exceedingly charming Frenchman, a happy-go-lucky gourmand and raconteur who always takes the long way.
Anne doesn’t know this when she hops into his vintage Peugeot, thinking she’ll be in her Paris apartment by nightfall. But she discovers it along the way, as their trip stretches from several hours into two days, stopping to consume the best that their route has to offer — from fine wines to foraged dandelion greens.
“Paris Can Wait” falls into that category of films that delights in depicting the European lifestyle through rose-colored glasses (rosé goggles, if you will). The landscape and lifestyle are idyllic — all ancient Roman aqueducts and cathedrals and unique wines and lavish culinary delights. Even the simple things feel extravagant and the annoyances have silver linings. An episode of car trouble becomes a decadent roadside picnic in a scene that serves as the keystone of the film’s thesis: Why worry when you can feast first? Paris can wait, after all.
There’s an element of fantasy that pervades “Paris Can Wait,” but it’s a delicious fantasy, one that feels like easing into a warm bath. There’s always a sense too that this magical world is fleeting as the miles tick by. The refreshing element is that the story resists normative fantasies of sex or romance — in “Paris Can Wait,” Coppola focuses on the relationship to the self. The fantasy is in the time Anne spends reconnecting to her passions and drive, after many years of pouring energy into others.
Coppola’s camera is trained on Anne as she experiences the world around her, snapping photos of the details she notices. It’s important to note how Coppola deftly shifts the focus to the woman behind the great man and asks who she is, how she understands the world, what she cares about. It’s fully her story and a rare perspective in film.
“Paris Can Wait” isn’t just a celebration of food and wine, or taking the time to enjoy the ride, it’s also about the fateful connections we can make with other people, unlikely soul mates who enter your life for the briefest moments and leave lasting impressions. For Anne, Jacques’ purpose at this moment in her life isn’t just to help her slow down and look around, it’s to remind her she’s a special, creative individual, autonomous of her husband or children, with a point of view worth sharing. That’s the real lesson that one takes from the charming, soulful and wise “Paris Can Wait.” It’s quite the cinematic treat.
Coypright 2017 Los Angeles Times
Sexy and Joyful Road Movie
Written by Jordan Ruimy
With her last feature directorial credit being contributions to 1991’s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, Eleanor Coppola is perhaps better known as Francis Ford Coppola’s wife than a filmmaker. Yet, she triumphantly returns this year with one of the sexiest and most joyful road movies in some time with Paris Can Wait.
This spiked bonbon of a movie has Diane Lane playing Anne, a woman that is slowly starting to get frustrated with the constant traveling of her Hollywood producer husband (Alec Baldwin). She is left alone once again during the Cannes Film Festival and needs to get to Paris by nighttime. Life at home for Anne is boring and routine, with her daughter leaving to pursue her studies abroad and her husband needing to fly to Egypt to deal with a problematic high-budget production. Anne might be hitting her mid-fifties, but there’s still an independent, free-thinking sexual awakening waiting to explode in her.
This leads to her being playfully lured to go on a two-day road trip through the south of France with Baldwin’s business partner Jacques (Arnaud Viard), a man that lives life to the fullest and delights in showing her some of the best food, art, and views in the south. Their destination is Paris, but he keeps on delaying the travels to pit stop any chance he gets. Whether it’s a fancy restaurant, a historic museum, a beautiful church, a delectable winery or having picnic in a magnificent countryside, Jacques is relentless and insistent in showing Anne just how marvelous his homeland truly is.
The flirtatious nature of their friendship turns Anne both on and off. He seems to be very upfront about his affection for her, but never steps out of bounds and still leaves enough intrigue for Anne to contemplate the possibilities. Anne, he declares, is his crème brûlée, but will she ultimately surrender to his charms? There are subtle indications that she might be game. Of course, Jacques sees that as well. This translates into seductive chemistry, which would not have existed without Lane, who has a loose, free-wheeling connection that’s a joy to behold.
The food in the film is also a genuine highlight, recalling the delectably sumptuous images of cuisine in Stanley Tucci’s Big Night. A tough watch if seen on empty stomach, the care and love that Coppola renders the food scenes will have one booking a flight right to the South of France for the mouth-watering delicacies on display.
After exploring the insanity and depression that went into her husband making Apocalypse Now with Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, here Coppola seems to revel in playing it light, while also making what is seemingly a very personal film. She ends up being the perfect fit for Lane and Viard’s onscreen playfulness, along with displaying such a authentic affection for her surroundings that one would not be surprised if the locales visited are in fact favorite spots for the Coppola family.