Holy Lola

2004 [FRENCH]

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 722

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 8 / 10

Bertrand Tavernier's 2004 vintage

Doctor Pierre Sézac (Jacques Gamblin) and his wife Géraldine (Isabelle Carré) a childless couple leave for Cambodgia to adopt one. When they arrive there, a real obstacle course awaits for them. Countless, various problems surface, wanderings from orphanages to orphanages amount to nothing and the courage and love of the young couple is put to a serious test.

When I was in my first year at university, I remember that one of my courses was entitled reading comprehension and for my exams, the topic of this course was based on a conversation between a man and a woman who talked about this widely talked about society phenomenon that is children adoption in Southern Asia. The two protagonists particularly insisted on the testing process that parents had to go through to get their beloved one. Bertrand Tavernier confirms in images and in this harrowing story, the meandering road the Sézac couple take to satisfy their desire to adopt children. This giant in French cinema who has keep on producing varied great works for more than thirty years is a true auteur whose sincerity and commitment about a prickly topic is never questionable. Such is once again the case here with this film that is based on true facts. The difficulties, the problems which the Sézac couple comes up against may seem numerous and exaggerated. One can't help but think that there are true to life either they are of administrative source or that they involve bribery. Tavernier also pores over the problem of children adoption through the different French couples at the hotel. The adventure the Sézac couple has is their common adventure in which chance and fate can smile or leave them at any time. If one can be destabilized by the didactic even documentary side of the venture, one can't deny its strong heartfelt vibe.

The background is also essential. Tavernier voluntarily chose a gritty tone and found place in his film to shake the viewer's nerves in front of Cambodgia ravaged by misery, war (some sequences showcase some soldiers clearing of mines a part of the country), shameful traffics which constitute a serious break to child adoption.

"Holy Lola" is a momentous work for two reasons: Tavernier added one more worthwhile piece of work to his own Aladdin's cave and also a work destined to the mainstream to make them realize of the hard process of child adoption. All the future parents who contemplate this step should have a look at it. And not only them but all those who are fond of topnotch French cinema.

Reviewed by writers_reign 8 / 10

Other People's Babies

Once again having seen and enjoyed a fine film I turn to these pages and find it inexplicable that no one has seen fit to offer an opinion. Despite a slew of good reviews (The French tend to favor a nought to three star system), three maximums, six 'very good', in four weeks in Paris it's only racked up one hundred thousand admissions and last week was down to six thousand in five salles which means that the ruthless French distributors will yank it any minute now. That's no way to treat Bertrand Tavernier but compared to Claude Lelouch he probably feels he's being feted; Lelouch's latest, The Human Condition: Part One, Parisiens, has been yanked already after just four weeks, I got there just in time but that's another story. It's amazing what Tavernier has been able to do with a very basic story of a French couple - Jacques Gamblin and Isabelle Carre - attempting to adopt a baby girl in Cambodia. Okay, location shooting helps but frankly Cambodia's not THAT interesting or photogenic whichever way you slice it and it's very much the central performances that sell this one. There's solid support from a few other couples in the same boat but Gamblin are Carre are light years ahead of the pack. Both, of course, have been around a while and both have copped awards, Carre, a Best Actress Cesar for Se Souvenirs des belles choses (another outstanding film that was let down by the public) and Gamblin in Tavernier's own recent masterpiece Laissez-Passer, but somehow they've never received the recognition they deserve and it may be that they'll be denied this time around too. For a cynical Westerner like me it's all too easy to believe in the political/governmental corruption that obtains in countries like Cambodia and Tavernier does little to disabuse me, telling it, presumably, like it is. And that's all it is, really, hope seguing to frustration, more hope, more bribes until at last ... but go and see it, it's worth it, believe me.

Reviewed by imursel 8 / 10

Everything for Lola

Directing: 8 /Acting: 7 /Story: 8 /Production values: 8 /Suspence - Thriller level: 4 /Action: 0 /Mystery - unknown: 3 /Romance level: 6 /Comedy elements: 4

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