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Lost in Paris


Stars: Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, Emmanuelle Riva, Pierre Richard, Frederic Meert, Jessica Hinds

Director: 'Abel & Gordon'

A truly daft (although perhaps not quite daft enough) Belgian comedy from the quirky duo of Gordon and Abel.

Bits of Tati-like visual comedy (again, we could do with more) are sprinkled through an idiotic scenario that sees gawky Canadian spinster Fiona (Gordon), who seems to work in a snowbound outpost, pitched into the midst of Paris in a hunt for her aged Aunt Martha (the iconic Riva in her penultimate role), who has returned to the city of her youth, dodging social services and, incidentally, Fiona as well.

Before long Gordon, in a performance that owes more than a little to Popeye's Olive Oyl, has fallen off a bridge (one of the film's several running gags) into the Seine, and lost all her possessions. These will be found by an oddball tramp (Abel), with whom Fiona will eventually (and improbably) fall in love.

It's the kind of film where Fiona gets her nose caught in lift doors, and Riva, a delight as always, climbs a tree on her way to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

There are nods to Chaplin, W C Fields and Pierre Etaix, although some of the comedy is a bit too contrived. In some ways, the film is a breath of fresh air in a cinematic world of grim, dysfunctional families and superhero movies - if only there were a bit more fresh air in it.

David Quinlan

Belgium/France 2016. UK Distributor: Arrow Films. Colour by Cinemage.
83 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Nov 2017