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Jeanne et le garçon formidable (1998)

Original Title : Jeanne et le garçon formidable
Director : Olivier Ducastel
Jacques Martineau
Writer : Olivier Ducastel
Jacques Martineau
Genre : Drama
Musical/Romance
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Cyriac Auriol , Pauline Duhault , Eric Zaouali
Music : Philippe Miller
Photography : Matthieu Poirot-Delpech
Distributor : Alcine Terran
IMDB ID : 0123923
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poster for "Jeanne et le garçon formidable" by Olivier Ducastel | Jacques Martineau (1998)
Jeanne et le garçon formidable (1998) - Olivier Ducastel | Jacques Martineau
 

Starring

Virginie Ledoyen Jeanne
Mathieu Demy Olivier
Jacques Bonnaffé François
Valérie Bonneton Sophie
Frédéric Gorny Jean-Baptiste
Laurent Arcaro The Messenger
Michel Raskine The Plumber
Damien Dodane Jacques
Denis Podalydès Julien
David Saracino Rémi
Nelly Borgeaud La mère de Jeanne
René Morard Le père de Jeanne
Jean-Marc Rouleau L'ami d'Olivier
Sylvain Prunenec Jérôme
Emmanuelle Goizé The Bookseller
Marief Guittier The Nurse
Judith Guittier The BDE Lady
Christiane Millet The Night Nurse
Cédric Brenner The BDE Guy
Nicolas Seguy Edouard
Johanna Menuteau Nathalie
Axelle Laffont Hélène
Grégory Sauvion Richard
Linh Bui My Self Maid
Juliette Chanaud Cinema Cashier
Philippe Mangeot Act Up Militant
Elise Caron Jeanne (singing voice
Brigitte Tijou 
 

Plot

Jeanne has an appetite for love that can never be satisfied. Lovers at every corner of her life she is still in search of that "one". When a impromptu tryst on the subway with Olivier gives her butterflies like never before she finally finds herself in love, truly in love. Yet she continues her affairs but now with a realization that they are not what she wants, she wants Olivier. Olivier reluctant to continue the romance with Jeanne for fear of hurting her or worse yet her seeing him at his worse. Olivier reveals to Jeanne he has AIDS from a bad needle during his heroine use. This however does not scare Jeanne off and her love for him turns her into a new person who wants to care for him, but that is not what he wants. The two share a common friend that is an AIDS Activist but they don't know it. Then Olivier because severely ill and Jeanne professes her love and her infidelity. That is the last she ever sees of Olivier. She returns to the hospital to find he has left with his parents, and left no forwarding address. Much time passes, and still the pain of her lost love resides. She knows of nothing of his whereabouts and no way to find him, until she bumps in to a friend that accompanied Olivier on the subway when she met him. Then she finally learns her love has passed on. A musical about the french governments lack of concern and role in the dire conditions of their citizens and about the different classes in society from the immigrant workers, soldiers, upper class and economic dependency on credit cards. A story that covers all walks of life and the pains of love.
 

Comments

France has a new sweetheart, 24 November 1999 Author: Varlaam from Toronto, Canada When this film first came out in France, a friend reported that this represented the sad state of the declining French film industry, that it had now resorted to making AIDS musicals. With government subsidies, of course.In fact, the film was a little better than I had been expecting, although I'll withhold comment on the plot outline: Beautiful, bra-less, teen nympho has trouble meeting men. Her latest boyfriend has HIV.You'd think she'd be the one with HIV given her lifestyle, but, sorry, I'm withholding comment on the plot.The boyfriend with AIDS story was much much more movingly and believably handled by the late Cyril Collard in his multi-César-winning "Les nuits fauves" (1992) with Romane Bohringer as the pretty brunette girlfriend on that occasion.This film about Jeanne and her new beau tries hard to be charming. You have to give it some credit for sheer nerve: the production number with singing, dancing janitors, or the plumber warbling his Toilet Song. (The French chanson has been ailing too, much like the film industry.)There was a minor scandal in the US some years ago. The government had spent thousands of dollars on a toilet. Whether thousands are better spent on a toilet or on a song about toilets, we'll allow history to decide.French musicals have always been an acquired taste, a taste which still eludes this viewer. To me, this one is less brittle than Jacques Demy's innovative, understated, pop-operatic "Les parapluies de Cherbourg" (1964) with Catherine Deneuve -- considered an unassailable masterpiece in France, or so I understand -- and less dumb than Demy's final "Trois places pour le 26" (1988), with Yves Montand and Mathilda May. Of those two leads, he can be described as «, une des derniè,res légendes vivantes », while she is «, considérée comme la meilleure et la plus belle des actrices franç,aises de la jeune génération »,, at least according to the hyperbole of the video release, using the glowing terms one usually reserves for films known to be failures.This film in fact carries on the Demy family tradition, with Jacques's son Mathieu playing the boyfriend.There are a couple of songs here which would not have seemed out of place in "Les parapluies" -- e.g. the one about choosing jam or honey for breakfast (sacré bleu!) -- but in general the film was not an out-and-out embarrassment.The lyrics aside, the actual score is inferior to "Les parapluies", although the composer tried for greater variety -- the Chinese restaurant ditty about Tsing Tao beer goes for an Oriental flavour.The film's greatest attraction is its star(let), Virginie Ledoyen, who is rarely off the screen. She doesn't have a great range, but there's some potential there. And a nice left profile. She certainly looks very sleek in a red cheongsam. Teenage North American males would probably like Virginie, assuming they ever tire of Jennifer Love Hewitt.
 
poster for "Jeanne et le garçon formidable"
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Jeanne et le garçon formidable (1998) - Olivier Ducastel | Jacques Martineau
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Jeanne et le garçon formidable (1998) - Olivier Ducastel | Jacques Martineau
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Jeanne et le garçon formidable (1998) - Olivier Ducastel | Jacques Martineau
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