L'Appartement (1996) from Tuna
Let's start with the plot, as best as I can sort it
out. Max (Vincent Cassel) has a great job and is engaged. He is on his
way to Japan for a business trip, when he thinks he hears Monica
Bellucci in the phone booth of a club, and drops everything to find
her. Seems she is his long-lost love. This becomes complicated by the
fact that Romane Bohringer is sort of piggybacking on Bellucci's life,
and is not only sleeping with Max's best friend, but also with Max.
She is also playing a bad actress in a play. So, for most of the film,
which includes a lot of flashbacks, we have Cassell supposedly leaving
for Japan, and supposedly looking for Bellucci, but actually banging
Bohringer, Bohringer supposedly heading for Rome with the play, but
actually boffing Cassell and his best friend, and Bellucci managing to
miss all of the men except the nut case that may have offed his wife
to be with her. Nobody in Japan seemed to miss Cassell, but then I
don't suppose I would either.
The above is my best guess as to the plot. Frankly, I was bored and confused from the beginning, and still don't understand the ending. I also couldn't understand the motives of any of the characters. Clearly, however, my reaction is not typical. Most people seem to agree that this constitutes one of the greatest French films of all time. IMDb readers say 7.8 based on over 2,000 votes. The "under 18" crowd has it nearly at 9. It received the best foreign language BAFTA, and was nominated for two Cesars. There also seems to be an agreement that much of it is an homage to Hitchcock, but in a very French way.
Here is a litmus test for you. One of the many IMDb rave comments for this film includes:
If the above makes sense to you, you might well be among the majority of people who love this first and last film from Gilles Mimouni.
Scoop's note: I'm glad Tuna won the dice roll on this one. I've been avoiding it. The Apartment was remade in English in 2004 with the title Wicker Park, and that film also has a respectable IMDb rating.
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