Russian dolls

Russian dolls

DVD - 2006 | French | Letterboxed version
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In this sequel to L'Auberge espagnole, Xavier, now thirty, reunites again with his old friends from his time in Barcelona when William marries a Russian dancer in Saint Petersburg. Although he is working as a writer, Xavier has been unable to publish his serious novel. He is ghostwriting celebrity memoirs and writing scripts for corny TV soap operas. His love life is a series of short-term encounters. When he loses his apartment, his lesbian friend Isabelle lets him stay at her place and gives him advice. He reconnects with William's sister Wendy in London as part of a scriptwriting project, but then also becomes involved with glamorous model Celia. Will Xavier overcome his indecisiveness about his career and love life or will he keep moving on, searching for the next, perfect thing?
Publisher: [United States] : IFC Films ; Santa Monica, Calif. : Genius Entertainment [distributor], c2006
Edition: Letterboxed version
Branch Call Number: DVD R WORLD (FRENCH)
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (129 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN: 9781594441646


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Jun 08, 2018

The second in a trilogy that focuses on a sensitive, yet self-centered young man's journey into adulthood. With tried-and-tested friends from L'Auberge espagnole (the first film, set in Spain), Xavier continues his maturation and managing a writing career. There are musings about what makes true love, infatuation with a Euromodel babe, affairs, regrets, and his own pressure to get married--with a very funny scene where he enlists his macha lesbian friend to pretend to be his fiancee to satisfy his very elderly grandfather's desire to see him partnered. I didn't like this as well as the other two--there's some swearing/lashing out at women and a pointless run through the streets naked scene. Also some weird, choppy visual editing by the director. That said, if you like this European series, it's part of the storyline, the friendships, cool cities, and eclectic apartments are realistically depicted, and it captures the mood of the mid-2000s.

Feb 02, 2017

this film is the 1st i saw of director klapisch's work. i liked it for the following reasons:
1. his style is fast pace, using "busy" montage techniques of multiple thumbnails ("macro-pixelation") & several simultaneously, irregularly split screens (puzzle-like) to carry the story. quite fitting to the assortment of young men & women & relationship among them. i got the sensation of peeling off russian dolls!
2. all the location shots & scenes are beautifully done. at the same time i couldn't help but to feel strongly about the various city life & work environments the characters live in.
3. unlike older french films about urban love, the dialogs/monologues are simplistic & counterculture at times. gone are the wordy philosophy of love or political argument among the average french people in yrs gone-by. there is even a candid "editorial" against ceremonial wedding, LOL!
4. the director's approach in this film seems to bring this modern story of love conflicts among young working professionals to the new millennium, thrusting the viewer to the busy working & busy loving ("rainbow" styles) reality of this hectic world. but near the end, a sensible contrast is presented in 2 sequences: slow motion of the model on the perfectly "proportional" street, & emotional reconciliation against a peaceful backdrop in the wedding reception on a claustrophobic river boat.
this film is lighthearted, non-stuffy & a breath of fresh air in modern french cinema. bravo!

update 3/6/2017. now that i have seen all 3 of the "xavier trilogy", may i rearrange their order according to my liking?
the best: #2 russian dolls (2005)
less than best finish: #3 chinese puzzle (2014)
good start: #1 l'auberge espanole [spanish apartment] (2002)

Nov 09, 2015

this is the 2nd of 3 Klapisch films involving Xavier, Martine, Isabelle and Wendy. in L'auberge Espagnole the characters are in their mid-20's (2002), in this one they are 30 (2005) and in Chinese Puzzle they are approaching 40 (2013).
I've enjoyed the progression from wild student, to what-to-do and who-to-love, to having kids.
will there be a 4th? at 50? Klapisch says no, but the actors all say yes.

Mar 02, 2015

Poorly constructed, far too many flashbacks and fast forwards, far too long and tedious shots accompanied with monologue, characters thrown in and patched together without much meaning, conflicts left up in the air. I kept fast forwarding.

Dec 28, 2011

This is a continuation of L'Auberge Espagnole in which we meet a rag-taggle of European kids exploring life. Russian Dolls reconnects with these and delivers a sequel better than the original.


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Jun 08, 2018

Other: Drug use is portrayed as normal.


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