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I Want to go Home (1989)

Original Title : I Want to Go Home
Director : Alain Resnais
Writer : Jules Feiffer
Genre : Comedy
Country : France
Language : English
Producer : Christian Ferry , Marin Karmitz
Music : John Kander
Photography : Charles Van Damme
Distributor : MK2 Diffusion
IMDB ID : 0097555
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poster for "I Want to go Home" by Alain Resnais (1989)
I Want to go Home (1989) - Alain Resnais
 

Starring

Adolph Green Joey Wellman
Laura Benson Elsie Wellman
Linda Lavin Lena Apthrop
Gérard Depardieu Christian Gauthier
Micheline Presle Isabelle Gauthier
John Ashton Harry Dempsey
Geraldine Chaplin Terry Amstrong
Caroline Sihol Dora Dempsey
Catherine Arditi La boulangère
Albert Benchamoul Un vieux villageois
Françoise Bertin La cliente de la marchande de légumes
Patrick Bonnel Le boucher
Charlotte Bonnet La femme chauffeur de taxi
Jean Champion Le chauffeur de taxi/Taxi driver
Emmanuelle Chaulet La secrétaire de Gauthier/Secretary of Gauthier
Jean-Marc Cosig Le garagiste
Tony Dias Roxy Darcel, le compagnon de Terry
Alain Fromager L'étudiant dans le bureau de Gauthier
François-Eric Gendron Lionel Cohn-Martin
Raphaëline Goupilleau L'étudiante dans le bureau de Gauthier
Isabelle Habiague La jeune femme qui chante
Lucienne Hamon Mme Roget/Mrs. Roget
Peter Hudson Un vieux villageois
Anne Roussel La jeune femme fatiguée/The tired woman
Ludivine Sagnier La petite fille de la place du village
Agnès Seelinger La domestique du manoir
Gisèle Soban La jeune femme dans le bureau de Gauthier
Nicolas Trong Le jeune homme dans l'avion
Isabelle Turpault 
Michel Weinstadt 
Isabelle Wolfe 
Abbes Zahmani 
 

Plot

Joey Wellman, a cantankerous American cartoonist, accepts an invitation to come to an exhibition in Paris, because his estranged daughter Elsie is a student there. He arrives with his girlfriend Lena, and very soon wants to go home as the culture shock is too much for him. Elsie puts off meeting him because she is busy trying to find Professor Christian Gauthier, in order to get him to read her thesis on Flaubert. However Gauthier is enamored with American culture, and invites Joey and some other Americans to his mother's house for the weekend. Elsie arrives at the gathering in time for the masquerade party and to see her father beginning to appreciate French culture.
 

Comments

This is an absurd film, and in my book, that's a big compliment. It gives us a glimpse into the colourful world of Elsie and Joey Wellman. She's an ingénue from Ohio who emigrates to Paris to pursue Culture, which she found sadly lacking in the home of Joey, her exuberant cartoonist father. In "On connaît la chanson", it was songs Resnais used to show what was going on in his characters' minds, here, how could it be anything but cartoons? Though they haven't talked in two years, Joey's cartoon cat keeps intruding into Elsie's thoughts in a black-and-white bubble, usually scolding her. And a cutely vitriolic little cat it is! When Joey decides to visit Elsie on pretext of a cartoon exhibit, a major crisis threatens...Resnais, who has worked with the likes of Enki Bilal (in "La vie est un roman"), obviously loves cartoons and cartoonists, yet also sympathizes with pretty over-intellectual young women like Elsie (a predecessor of Camille in "On connaît la chanson"). Many of his later movies use inspiredly silly elements to treat serious problems. Watching this one, I wondered about his influence on people like Hal Hartley. Strongly recommended to film-lovers, but probably not to the average movie-goer.
 
poster for "I Want to go Home"
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I Want to go Home (1989) - Alain Resnais
poster for "I Want to go Home"
157 x 275
I Want to go Home (1989) - Alain Resnais
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