Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Monster in Paris

The clock has struck NOON in Paris and we head out to watch a movie at the Cinema.

A Monster in Paris (2011) -trailer
Un monstre à Paris (original title)

Director: Bibo Bergeron
Writers: Bibo Bergeron, Stéphane Kazandjian (screenplay)

Mathieu Chedid as Francoeur
Vanessa Paradis as Lucille
Gad Elmaleh as Raoul

A 3D-animated movie set in Paris in the year 1910 and centered on a monster who lives in a garden and his love for a beautiful, young singer. Paris.

Plot from wikipedia:

The story begins by documenting the Seine flood of 1910.

Set in Paris. Emile, a shy projectionist, has a passion for film and romantic interests for his collaborator of the cinema, Maud, but has trouble admitting his true feelings. His friend, an exuberant inventor and delivery driver, Raoul, is picking him up from work to transport him in his crafted vehicle, named Catherine, to assist in retrieving a new belt for his projector, due to a mishap with him daydreaming. In the process of purchasing a new belt, he also gets himself a new camera. The story also introduces Lucille (Vanessa Paradis), a childhood friend of Raoul, and cabaret singer at the club L'Oiseau Rare (The Rare Bird). As Paris is diverse in the category of the rich and the poor, though she is a successful singer, her Aunt does everything to push her into the arms of the Chief of Police, Maynott, a man devoured by pride and ambition.

On a particular evening, Raoul, accompanied by Emile, is making a delivery to the Botanical Gardens. In the absence of the Professor who works there, the place is guarded by his assistant, a proboscis monkey named Charles. Appreciating the opportunity to browse through the laboratory, Raoul experiments with an "Atomize-a-Tune" mixture which gives Charles a voice of an opera singer and an unstable "super fertilizer" which grows a sunflower seed to a giant sunflower in the blink of an eye. Due to the enormity of the plant in a small amount of water, it starts to topple towards Raoul and Emile. In the ensuing chaos, an explosion occurs due to the mixing of the chemicals. Everyone comes out unscathed, but Emile is convinced he has glimpsed a monstrous creature which is recorded on camera. A few days later, the creature is featured in the newspapers.

An investigation is made into the whereabouts of the creature by Maynott's second in command, Paté, but is fronted by Maynott, who uses it as a scheme to maintain fear in Paris and popularise his status as providential candidate for the upcoming elections. At the same time, he tries unsuccessfully to seduce Lucille. Meanwhile, Lucille is trying to find a new musician for her show, and refuses the candidacy of the club’s waiter, Albert (due to his terrible singing). Whilst trying to vacate the club, Albert stumbles across the creature and tries to get back into the cabaret with no success and flees terrified. Lucille opens the door and accidentally pushes the creature aside into the alleyway after it was curiously playing with the doorbell. Upon seeing the creature, she flees in a initial state of panic, but later hears the creature sing and discovers it is not dangerous but has a lovely singing voice. She welcomes it in her dressing room, and gives it the name, Francœur (meaning "honest heart"), the name of the street where she had found it. The creature is nothing but a flea that the fertilizer, amidst all the other chemicals in laboratory explosion, caused to grow to human scale.

During the ongoing investigation, Emile and Raoul's secret of the laboratory incident is blown and they are arrested. Brought before Maynott, Emile and Raoul think they are going to prison, but due to Maynott's interests in the creature, they are commended as heroes and are given the Legion of Honor. On a challenge he had been set earlier by Lucille during an altercation, Raoul uses the badge as an advantage to get the best seats at Lucille's show at the Rare Bird club, which she had promised him. After the show, Emile and Raoul come to congratulate Lucille on her show, but upon been greeted by the musician, Lucille reveals the identity of Francœur. In the ensuing surprise, Albert overhears the situation and reports it to the police in an act of jealousy. The police arrive at the cabaret searching for the creature, but Emile, Raoul and Francœur narrowly escape and Albert is framed for lying to the police.

The following day, Maynott opens the Montmartre Funicular, which serves Montmartre and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The trio, along with Francœur and Charles the monkey, decide to use this opportunity as a way of staging the death of the creature. Things do not go according to plan as Maynott discovers the creature hiding under the trap door of the stage. Trying to escape, Francœur and friends are chased through the streets of Paris by the insane Maynott -who is hellbent on the death of Francœur, even if it meant killing Franc's friends in the process- involving the use an airship and "Catherine". The chase concludes at the tip of the Eiffel tower. Meanwhile, Maud, who Emile had the courage to make a date for, also travels there. After a battle to protect Francœur from Maynott, the fertilizer begins to wear off, but a gunshot and Francœur's disappearance makes everyone believe he is dead. The megalomaniacal villain is arrested by Paté on the concern that Francœur is innocent and Emile and Maud also fall into the arms of one another.

Later that evening Lucille is distraught after the "death" of Francœur. Hesitant to sing her number onstage, Raoul convinces her anyway. Whilst struggling to begin singing, she hears a humming in her ear, which appears to be Francœur still singing on her earring. Some time later, the Professor who was absent from earlier, returns from his trip and when the three friends explain the situation, he makes a new mixture (which could be a permanent solution to help Francœur stay human sized). Francœur continues to sing with Lucille. After an introduction to a childhood memory of Raoul, he and Lucille confess their true feelings to one another.

In a post-credits scene, Raoul, Lucille, Francœur, Maud, Emile and Lucille's aunt with Paté riding the airship, scatter super fertilized sunflower seeds to help drain the flooded Seine River. In a second scene, Maynott is shown in the same cell as Albert and a thief, and forced to endure their appalling singing.

Introducing Lucille at the Cabaret with a ditty...

La Seine Cabaret
performed by Vanessa Paradis

Per comments, here are lyrics from Purple Lunacy to the song...

Elle sort de son lit / Tellement sûre d'elle
She's leaving her bed (overflowing her banks) / So certain of herself

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine ( / Tellement
jolie elle m'ensorcelle
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / So pretty, she's bewitching me

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine / Extralucide la lune est sur
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / The lucid moon is reflected on

La Seine, la Seine, la Seine / Tu n'es pas saoul
The Seine, the Seine, the Seine / You are not drunk

Paris est sous / La Seine, la Seine, la Seine
Paris is drowning under / The Seine, the Seine, the Seine

Je ne sais, ne sais, ne sais pas pourquoi / C'est comme ça, la Seine et moi
I don't know, don't know, don't know why / This is how it goes between
the Seine and me

Je ne sais, ne sais, ne sais pas pourquoi / C'est comme ça, la Seine et moi...
I don't know, don't know, don't know why / This is how it goes between
the Seine and me...


* leave a comment to earn a point towards an event giveaway

* on my DVD to-watch list!

* first spotted this at Susan Dennard's site

* lyrics addition to post is courtesy of Sasha Soren

-*&*- Paris at Noon schedule -*&*-

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Images from: Lovelytocu