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Chinese Puzzle
Year:
2013
Country:
USA, France, Belgium
Genre:
Drama, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
7.0
Director:
Cédric Klapisch
Audrey Tautou as Martine
Jochen Hägele as Hegel et Schopenhauer - les philosophes allemands
Flore Bonaventura as Isabelle de Groote - la babysitter
Pablo Mugnier-Jacob as Tom Rousseau
Amin Djakliou as Lucas
Margaux Mansart as Mia Rousseau
Benoît Jacquot as Monsieur Rousseau - le père de Xavier
Li Jun Li as Nancy
Kelly Reilly as Wendy
Romain Duris as Xavier Rousseau
Peter McRobbie as L'agent bureau immigration
Storyline: Xavier is now forty years old. So are Wendy, Isabelle and Martine. At forty you are supposed to be more mature and live a a steadier life than at twenty. But not Xavier. Well, to be fair, he has made some progress in the field of thoughtfulness (he has even become a writer) but as concerns his everyday life, it is far from well-ordered. To be totally honest it is not entirely Xavier's fault if his wife Wendy has suddenly left him for a new companion in New York and taken their two children with her. Realizing he can't stand living without them, Xavier decides to settle down in Big Apple in order to remain close to them. He finds a home in Chinatown and it does not take long before trouble comes his way.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 1280x688 px 5588 Mb h264 6662 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 720x390 px 1064 Mb mpeg4 1268 Kbps avi Download
Reviews
To be a good father, one must take whatever it costs.
It is the third and final movie of the 'Spanish Apartment' trilogy. The story of a middle aged father and his care for his children make him to pick a challenged life ahead. The initial parts were very slow, I feel you need to be a patience. While progressing, the story development turns to be a gripping. Afterwards it gets bigger with introducing more characters and that makes a widely open story that can travel any direction. That mean definitely not easy to predict the end. I am glad that I saw it and you should not miss this trilogy, one of the best drama-romedy series ever told.

The 40 years old divorced Xavier aim to follow his ex path to the New York to be staying close to his children. He makes it and one of his old friends who has settled in New York helps him to find an apartment. He finds a decent job and having everything going stable, his ex allows to share the his part being a parent. The time and days moving rapidly, the trouble approaches him because his stay is limited as he came on a tourist visa. His trouble doubles and he must overcome soon with a solution. Besides, reuniting with his other old friend and affair are the other side of the tale that uncovers.

''Those tiny initials in the sidewalk held a kind of fundamental proof that my birth wasn't a total accident.''

Once again the director's favorite actor Roman Duris appeared for a wonderful role and he did not disappoint. He is one of my favorites from French films, maybe because I liked most of his movies. His performance was amazing like always and definitely he was the center of attraction in this film. It was about the three things, being a father, immigrant and kind of love rectangle. As he (Roman Duris) was divorced, but being a father of two young children his responsibility is to give them love and care. Especially not to discard them like his father did for him. So he's ready to give up anything in the world. The love rectangle was not exactly a fight over each other. It was cleverly briefed, very modern with the understanding kind of relationship. This is what the movie impresses very much, the shuffled characters with one man at the center.

The last 20-25 minutes was so good, the pace accelerates along the crucial portions which gives thrilling pleasure. My rating varied from the lower to the higher while watching this movie in each section till it went to the last part. So felt keeping calm all the way paid off with a great pleasure. I have seen few French movies of 2013 and this one is one of the best. It was about everything, like, a little meaningful about being a parent, humors, thrill scenes, finding love and affections, friendship. And again, I am saying that it is worth a lot to try at once.
2014-08-25
Audrey Tautou's pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese is stunning
This film tells the story of a French man who moves to New York because his ex partner takes their two children there and remarry an American man.

The premise of the film is very interesting, as I haven't thought about how globalised we are. I've been taking weekend overseas breaks for granted, watching foreign films, listening to foreign songs, keeping on touch with foreign friends with much ease. And the film reminds us that life back then was not as complicated. The comedy aspect is done quite well, especially the immigration inspection scene which is quite funny. However, the film takes a long time to reach that comedy stage, and actually the first half of the film is rather boring. One thing I'm truly impressed by is Audrey Tautou's pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese. It's very clear that she took a lot of effort in learning the words, because she even got the tones of every character right!
2016-02-19
French freshness to laugh and think
A very fresh and current plot. With a lively back and forth between the first person's "off" thoughts and concrete dialogue between characters. The actors Duris and Tautou nail their papers, although it is not a job to highlight. The rest does well. In tune with its trilogy's predecessors ("L'auberge espagnole" and "The Russian Dolls") Kaplisch gives us a very entertaining, very fresh comedy with a seal undoubtedly French. This time, we see the characters through the crisis of the 40s (or late 30s). I think that Klapisch could very well summarize the "evils" afflicting this generation at this historic moment, resulting in a film that becomes very close, with situations that can happen to anyone and very relatable characters. OK, yes ....it's a little strange that everything happens to him, but I think the situations are very possible in the world today, and are synthesized in a character in a few months (allowed for the sake of comic effect) . With very funny moments and others flatter, I think achieves the goal. It is not an awesome movie, but recommended for a very pleasant time.
2016-01-13
Another terrific chapter in Cédric Klapisch's romcom saga
The threequel to 'Pot Luck' and 'Russian Dolls', 'Chinese Puzzle' picks up the story of French writer Xavier (Romain Duris, engaging as ever). He's now married to Briton Wendy (Kelly Reilly), with whom he has two children. His Belgian lesbian chum Isabelle (Cécile De France) is obsessing about having children and Xavier agrees, against Wendy's wishes, to provide the sperm with which Isabelle will be artificially inseminated (who said romance was dead?) Meanwhile, Wendy meets an American and sets up home with him in New York, taking her and Xavier's children with her. Distraught at losing contact with the children, Xavier relocates to New York himself. But will he ever find lasting love?

There are many things casually presented as acceptable here which some may take issue with (eg the self-indulgent, artificial creation of children in a time of over-population; visa-convenient marriages). But this film is so feel-good that even a grouch like me sat grinning - or laughing out loud - for much of it. Returning players Duris, De France and Audrey Tautou slip on their former roles with ease; Reilly's acting I found a bit too soap operaish. Of the new characters, Jason Kravits, as Duris' sleazy lawyer, does a fine comic turn. The film is pure entertainment - in fact, if it weren't for Xavier and Wendy's annoyingly precocious, wise-beyond-his-years son, it would be near perfect. But this is still another splendid chapter in Cédric Klapisch's romcom saga.
2013-11-01
An enjoyable and sweet film brought down by it's cliché self awareness!
What I did not realise when watching this was the fact that this is the third in a long running trilogy with the films 'Pot Luck' and 'Russian Dolls' being the previous films all directed by Cedric Klapisch.

When reading of this revelation after I viewed the film, it made perfect sense as to why there were pictures of the characters in three stages of ageing in the opening credit sequence and why there are characters who drop into the film suddenly like we are supposed to know them. However, as a person who did not see the two previous films, I did get to know the many characters quite well and I did care about them in what I thought was a surprisingly enjoyable film.

Romain Duris stars as Xavier, a man whose relationship with Wendy (Kelly Reilly) ends. Wendy meets a man in New York and takes the children with her. Xavier makes a snap decision to move to New York to be with his kids. He initially stays with his lesbian friend Isabelle (Cecile De France) who moved to New York to be with her lover, Ju (Sandrine Holt), who is also having an affair with her babysitter who is also named Isabelle (Flore Bonaventura). Also, Xavier's past lover, Martine (Audrey Tautou) keeps dropping into New York for work related reasons and meets up with Xavier a few times. Could they start to re-kindle what they had before?

The great thing about Chinese Puzzle is it's portrait of New York which it shows in all it's racial and sexual diversity, but not feeling forced or annoyingly politically correct. It felt more like this is the reality of New York being the crowded and multi cultural city that it is. It is refreshing to see New York portrayed in that way as opposed to post card aesthetics used by many, especially Woody Allen. It also shows the difficulties Xavier faces trying to stay in New York and fitting into a strange city. He meets interesting people, gets cash in hand jobs as his holiday visa deems it illegal for him to be in employment, and he gets married to an Asian-American girl in order to stay in the country. It is compelling to watch his character settle in, develop and grow in his new place of residence and how he gets involved with the main characters around him in these intertwining stories. The stories were interesting and it had me routing for the characters, who despite their flaws, are genuinely believable and likable characters. What did end up annoying me about the film was the fact that it went for the cliché narrative-within-a-narrative structure. While the story is unfolding, Xavier is writing a book about his experiences and his agent is commenting on his ideas. When the story threads culminate into a last minute dash to get the girl who is taking a bus out of New York for good, the agent comments on how the ending is too happy and cliché. For me, this self awareness is worse than just having the cliché ending. For the most part, it was enjoyable and it meant well.

Check out my film review blog - www.projectionistreview.wordpress.com
2014-07-22
Disappointing
I've seen this movie yesterday and was disappointed. Especially since I really liked the first and second prequel. I am always turned off by a movie that is badly edited, badly scripted and does not really have a good story to tell. If one keeps close attention one will notice many illogical situations. Not everything needs to be logical in a movie but it is better not that obvious. For example, I encourage everybody to keep a close look for pregnant and non-pregnant women, for the main doors to the houses when children's are picked up and delivered, and for some awful dialog when somebody reveals "something very personal" nobody cares about. There is much more like this. This movie could easily feature as a bad TV soap opera. Just see for yourself. The only thing that kept me in the movie theater were a few scenes that are really funny and some camera work for which movies by Cédric Klapisch are famous for. By the way, the music is excellent.
2014-05-07
Cute
Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris might not reach the heights of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, or the lighter, more down-to-earth "Four Weddings and a Funeral"... "Chinse Puzzle" is neither ultra-sophisticated or really funny, but it is amusing, with a different perspective for romantic comedies, giving us a rawer and truly different take on the way men and women understand each other. For starters, where do you go after being together for ten years with a woman from another country? You just jump on the first plane and cross the ocean! It's at this moment you leave all sense of logic behind because a seemingly successful writer in Paris becomes an apparently broken foreigner who must find some contrived maneuvers to survive in the Big Apple. I guess they needed some color and a bit of a "ethnic" atmosphere here. I think it would have been easier just to keep matters simple. The different relationships would have worked on their own, mostly on the chemistry of the principal cast. However, if our hero has to struggle, then we can bring INS in and really complicate things.

Xavier is best friends with a lesbian, but he and his wife can't truly communicate, break up and somehow it is better when they're apart. The dialogue feels very strange when it's not even a combination of languages, but like seeing two people failing to communicate in a UN meeting. The children never speak English? What's the deal with writer's block, too? Throw in donating sperm for the lesbian couple, marrying a Chinese woman to stay in N.Y., and you come up with something entertaining, but that still feels half-cooked.

With all these obstacles, it would seem impossible to like what appears to be a mess, but all the actors are very appealing, and there's something fresh about seeing French actors struggle in N.Y. They are always so sophisticated, dressed impeccably in the latest fashions, and here they are confused, emotionally unstable, not unleashing sophisticated charm on us, but appearing vulnerable and very likable.

Tautou shines in her pedestrian outfits, even when she gets a dynamite scene dealing with a Chinese magnate and proves she is a formidable actress. She's lovely as she ages and shows her flaws. Cecile De France approaches her relationship in an aggressive but still appealing way. She's just free. It's also cool to have an ex-partner in a legal meeting who is not tearing the other apart. The only bad guy here appears to be the INS agent, but even he looks pretty understanding in the end.

It's cool to see N.Y. from the immigrant's point of view, without drowning the story in sadness and tragedy or just making it too fluffy. Yes, it might be contrived, but it's still like a French soufflé, enjoyable and light, and maybe forgettable quite soon.
2014-05-30
.. it's a New York film... in French
It's a fun movie, with a great cast... don't even think about it, just watch and enjoy. It's mostly a foreign language film, but set mainly in New York City. And it really shows New York in a down to earth style that is real life and appealing. It's the kind of film that shows movie making does not have to be overly complicated and sensational. Just dealing with the real life stories of everyday people can be most enjoyable. There's probably not going to be a large audience for this film, and that's a shame, for most would wholeheartedly enjoy it. When you go to a movie theater in this country, this is not the type of film you are most likely going to the theater to see... but if you did, you'd probably enjoy it a lot more than a majority of the other junk that's on the marquee. And contrary to what she declares, it's always easier for most very beautiful women to be attracted to and 'fall-for' rich good looking men.. (while the ex winds up with poor cute Audrey..and two more kids).
2015-06-25
Not complicated : it's my life one more time (screen)
Beyond the talent of the cast and the director, i really like this trilogy because it's the only movies in which i can say that my life is on screen : maybe i'm a bit narcissistic, but it's above all wonderful to have an exterior view on his own life : Thus, like the movie, i'm also a Xavier, a civil servant for the Ministry of finances, my heart is also in writing (take a look of my reviews!) and my best friends come from my European experience !

However if i was thinking that the parallels were over and that the 2 movies have said it all, this new one manages to surprise me in exposing again my actual feelings : I'm going to reach 40 and i haven't find my « B » destination yet : I have crashed on a relationship and I target to go to NYC. So his trip in NYC was like a repeat of my future travel and it was a lot better than its relative « Nous York ». Sure, it's not again the glamor, postcards version of the city but Klapish is very inventive and uses all the modern technology to make NYC alive and fun ! He really have understood NYC as he has the same point of view of Frank Miller, the comics master : NYC is about verticality ! And i really like how he can live in a poor accommodation as i have got exactly the same in Paris !

After this good start, the movie is almost a remake of « Green Card » but for me the difference is that Xavier is sincere and honest in his feeling of being lost : so, his life is complicated because he just doesn't understand it. But, the movie is helpful as it mirrors again my reading : the meaning of life is to commit to a dream and makes it happen by taking initiative, thus by making choices. Again, it's funny to see that i'm also torn to make a decisive choice for my future but so far, i'm still stuck in indecision.

As the previous movie, my past colleague was also with me and if he isn't a Xavier being a happy husband and father, this movie speaks also to him as he was dubious about a gay family : As he told it, this movie was also excellent in this theme because it doesn't judge bur rather invite to debate.

Beyond our personal beliefs, this movie is a must-see because it just tell a simple story in a very funny way and is as deep and rich in its content than its visual (voice-over, reality blur, split screen, animation…). Romain is still as good (maybe the only difference with me is that he's told to be good looking, that was also the appreciation of my Swedish friend) and Tautou was maybe less cold as she was moving as a crying mother in travel learning that her child is ill at home (i witnessed the same situation and the reaction was totally opposite !).

So, Xavier, I hope to see you at fifty to check up if we have done at last something of our live !
2013-12-31
Romaine Holiday
Because of his involvement with Un Air de famille - he directed a great screenplay by Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri - I'm prepared to overlook any flawed movies by Cedric Klapish so that despite an aversion to Romaine Duris I did, in fact, see both L'Auberge Espagnol and Les Poupees Russe, both of which feature a melange of characters at different (2002, 2005) times in their lives, and I didn't really care for either of them. This third outing reunites Duris with Audrey Tautao, Cecile de France and Kelly Reilly, all now more or less forty years old and maybe I'm mellowing but I actually enjoyed it in the main, even Duris is less swaggering and acting like God's gift as is his usual wont. This isn't the same as saying that I'll rush out and buy the DVD the minute it appears in the shops but it is a pleasant and fairly harmless diversion.
2014-06-20
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