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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Zu Ende ist alles erst am Schluss (Memories, Les souvenirs)

France 2014
Opening March 26, 2015

Directed by: Jean-Paul Rouve
Writing credits: David Foenkinos, Jean-Paul Rouve
Principle actors: Michel Blanc, Annie Cordy, Mathieu Spinosi, Chantal Lauby

Zu Ende ist alles erst am Schluss (Memories, Les souvenirs) ”It isn’t over ‘till it’s over” would be the literal translation of the German movie title—and would be much more to the point than the original French or English title. This ‘philosophical comedy’ starts and ends with a funeral; undoubtedly for those ‘in the box’ it’s over. Everyone else better have a good excuse for not trying to keep going, have fun or start over if necessary. Indecisiveness might be in the way and sometimes encouragement is needed. There is a painter who simply needs a compliment to pick up his brush again, and there is a sampling of different types in the featured Esnard family alone. After a serious fall, 85-year old recently widowed Madeleine Esnard (Cordy) has been moved to an old age home without her consent. This is not what she considers ‘fun’ and—independent as she is—she disappears to reacquaint herself with her past until she decides she wants to be found. Her 23-year young grandson Romain (Spinosi), a literature student working as a nighttime concierge in a hotel could use some direction for his life and also some more fun. Romain’s father Michel—Michel Blanc portraying this character as a very funny French Woody-Allen-type—wallows in self-pity because of his recent retirement from the post-office and because his wife will not spend all her waking hours lavishing him with attention. We know he is not as hopeless a case as it sounds though, when he wants to drown his sorrows in a bar but worries about the health of his liver. ()

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