Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Guyver, The
Night School
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
  Eden That's When The Music Takes MeBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Stars: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Hugo Conzelmann, Zita Hanrot, Roman Kolinka, Hugo Bienvenu, Vincent Lacoste, Arnaud Azoulay, Laurent Cazanave, Paul Spera, Arsinée Khanjian, Juliette Lamet, Greta Gerwig, Laura Smet, Brady Corbet
Genre: Drama, Music
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Paul Vallée (Félix de Givry) is a teenager in early nineties Paris who really should be studying literature, but finds there is something else he and his pals are interested in, and that is dancing the night away at raves held in a variety of locations big enough to attract a large amount of young folks seeking to forget their cares for a few hours. So enamoured of this is Paul that he and his friend Stan (Hugo Conzelmann) decide they could very well make their own music, and thus with a bunch of other enterprising people they seek to make money out of the dance scene with their own brand of garage. However, devoting your life to the sound of the crowd may not be the most productive or satisfying existence in the long run…

Director Mia Hansen-Løve drew on the experiences of her brother Sven to create this tribute to around twenty years of dance music culture, for he had a lot of familiarity with it, having made his living from just that. It won an appreciative reception from those like him who enjoyed the tunes played on the soundtrack, most prevalently the Daft Punk material as the film was very much in love with their productions, even to the point of featuring them as characters (though played by actors, and not wearing their robot helmets). It becomes almost a running joke that in spite of its popularity, the only French dance music anyone is in any way familiar with by name is that groundbreaking duo, though one presumes that was more tribute than goodnatured dig.

It was accurate to say the parts where the tunes are delivered and the actors and extras started dancing were the best, as for the duration of those sequences Hansen-Løve managed to convey something of the appeal of the scene, if only by having them sing along with classics like Promised Land to bring out the feeling of togetherness being in a crowd who are all of one mind enjoy, to dance and live for that alone, if only for a night. Other songs are set to montages, an overfamiliar way of eliciting that same feeling, but effective nonetheless, and there’s a neat atmosphere to anything featuring the music, almost reflective in a way that looking back on the times you forgot your troubles can be.

There was a nostalgic streak to Eden, but that was tempered with more realistic elements which indicated the party couldn’t go on forever, or rather it could, but not with the same funseekers. Alas, this was where the drama fell down, as for a start Paul was an unfortunately charisma-free chap who we were not given enough reason to care about; happy things happen to him, sad things happen to him, and he reacts more or less the same, cracking the occasional smile or breaking down in tears a couple of times, but not enough to convince us in the audience he was worth sticking with for over two hours. De Givry didn’t have much on his CV as far as movies went, and it was difficult to understand why he was chosen for the lead when someone with more pep might have fitted it better.

Perhaps the problem wasn’t with the actor but with what he was requested to do, as nothing Paul takes part in looks half as interesting as what certain other characters indulge in. If they were so fascinating, why not make a biopic of Daft Punk, for instance? Hansen-Løve was very much enamoured with their music, and judging by the scenes where it was used could have conjured up a very decent selection of sequences putting that to fine biographical use. Not only them, either, as Paul’s artist friend Cyril (Roman Kolinka) has an intriguing character arc that is given very short shrift so that his ultimate fate makes very little impact – a lot more could have been done with him, and others of Paul’s circle, such as his girlfriends (including Greta Gerwig for a couple of short stretches and more substantially Pauline Etienne) who could have been a better focus for a more rewarding narrative. But nope, on we plod with boring Paul, looking forward to the next time the needle drops and the film springs to life once again.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 501 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot


Last Updated: