Edinburgh, late 19th century. Little Jack is born on a day so cold that his heart remains frozen. In her house on top of a big hill, Madeleine the midwife replaces the defective organ with a cuckoo-clock. It will work, she warns him, as long as Jack doesn’t touch the hands of the clock, doesn’t lose his temper and, above all, doesn’t fall in love. But Jack’s encounter with a fiery-eyed little girl singing on a street corner and his decision to chase after her across Europe to Andalusia test the resistance of his makeshift heart to breaking point...
Directed and co-written by Daniele Thompson ("La Bûche," "Jet Lag"), and selected as France's Official Entry for this year's Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar, "Avenue Montaigne" centers around Jessica (Cecile de France) a beautiful young woman from the provinces who comes to Paris and lands a job waiting tables at a chic bistro on fabled Avenue Montaigne, the city's nexus for art, music, theater and fashion. Jessica's customers include a popular TV actress (Valérie Lemercier) who is courting a major Hollywood director (Sydney Pollack) for her first serious film role; a wealthy art collector (Claude Brasseur) who is about to liquidate a lifetime's worth of treasures at auction; and an illustrious classical pianist (Albert Dupontel) who is at odds with his manager/wife (Laura Morante) as to where his career is headed. Precisely because Jessica doesn't know how celebrated these people are, her guileless and completely unintimidated engagement in their lives has a transforming effect on them - and ultimately her.
Philippe Seigner, a charming business school graduate from the French Pyrenees, starts his career in business consulting at the posh Paris seat of McGregor. His first serious task is a delicate one, an audit at the Janson food cans factory in the provinces, which is about to be taken over. As he soon realizes, this will mean sacking about 80 employees, as his boss Hugo Paradis knew from the start. However, his Paris girl friend reproaches him collaborating with ruthless capitalism, as if any of the downsizing could be stopped or mitigated by him bowing out. Nevertheless, as he gets to knew the threatened staff better he considers risking his career when his boss orders him to chose who should go. Meanwhile the factory staff starts realizing what's about to happening.
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Ninon is a spirited hotel-manager who teaches self-defense classes to her terrified elderly neighbors. Daiga, an aspiring Lithuanian actress newly arrived to Paris, comes to live at the hotel and becomes fascinated with the life of a mysteriously beautiful drag performer, Camille. Camille occasionally seeks refuge at the home of his brother, Theo, a quiet Antillean musician and carpenter who longs to return with his child to his native land against the wishes of his estranged wife, Mona. Through the medium of these characters unfolds a provocative and chilling examination of the intersecting lives of the lovers, acquaintances, family members, and victims of a serial killer. –inbaseline.com
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