catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 8 :: 2007.04.20 — 2007.05.04


Life’s bistro

No sheerness, no service

In Avenue Montaigne, Daniele Thompson (Jet Lag) brings us a story of those coiled in conversation with steamy café crème and lulled by the Parisian night lights, where the souls take shelter in the sups and swallows of their malcontent, where people find romance, meaningful conversation, fine dining, shopping, and even misery. 

Along the Avenue of Montaigne in the Right Bank of Paris where the affluent populate and circulate up and down the cobble streets, a chic bistro is home to our budding story and our starry-eyed debutante Jessica (Cecile de France). Fresh from the provinces, Jessica has taken root amidst the hub of Paris’ locales for theatre, music, fashion, and art. Here she meets three unique individuals whose misery coalesces with her hope, resulting in a transformative tale of hope and resurrected life vigor.

There’s television soap star Catherine (Valérie Lemercier) who is attempting to warm Hollywood director Brian Sobinski (Sydney Pollack) into offering her a bigger part in a Faydeau farce. Jean-Francois (Albert Dupontel) is a renowned classical pianist who has resorted to finger pushing “Ah! Vous Dirai-je, Maman,” as the misery of his marriage to wife and manager Valentine (Laura Morante) saps his passion. Then there’s Jacques (Claude Brasseur), a wealthy art collector who’s liquidating his life’s collective ambition to the chagrin of his son Frederic (Christopher Thompson). All in all, a wittily crocheted tapestry of the priceless pursuit and realization of happiness.

Like a fresh baguette, Montaigne delivers a warm and affectionate tale of following your heart to happiness. With delightful wit, including a row of Sartre’s, it’s a charming and attractive spring gem. As Glenn Whipp of the L.A. Daily News notes, Montaigne possesses “a whimsy that never feels forced and a bittersweet edge in its characters' elusive pursuit of happiness.” Penned by Daniele, with son Christopher, and featuring original music by Nicola Piovani and cinematography by Jean-Marc Fabre, Avenue Montaigne is a cinematic soufflé aglow with romantic fancy. Just one of the many twinkling lights in The City of Light pulsating along the arrondisements of luxurious Paris.

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