Avenue Montaigne

Director:   Danièle Thompson
Year:   2006
Language:   French
Time:   100 minutes
Rated:   PG-13

The French title of this film translates as "Orchestra Seats." It presents a young woman's arrival in Paris. There she finds a job as a waitress in a bar next to a theater and meets a pianist, a famous actress and a great art collector, and begins to have her own dreams of fame. Thus she has an "orchestra seat" to view the great theater that is the life of the arts in Paris and the view is sumptuous for her and for us in the other audience.

The pleasures of the movie are simple. It's fun to watch talented, largely likeable people enjoying each other's company, while wittily inferring character from the way people answer their cell-phones. Each major character faces a crisis—the old art collector Jacques (Claude Brasseur) must make peace with his son; the concert pianist Jean-François (Albert Dupontel) feels suffocated by his profession; the TV star Catherine (Valérie Lemercier) longs for a more substantial role. Connecting all of them in wildly coincidental ways is waitress Jessica, broke and technically homeless.

The film won a 2007 César award for best supporting actress and received 4 other César nominations

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