Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ne le Dis a Personne

If you are an avid movie buff like myself, especially when it comes to French movies, you surely have seen at least one starring Francois Cluzet. If you haven't, then it's time to do your homework and you may even start with "Tell No One", and then move to the spectacular "Les Intouchables" which you will surely adore. "Ne le dis a personne" is not the only collaboration between Cluzet and the young director, former actor, Guillaume Canet. In 2010 he also starred in Canet's movie "Les petits mouchoirs", which is also an interesting movie about friends, family and love that ties all that.
"Ne le Dis a Personne" tells the story of a pediatrician who marries his childhood sweetheart, and then, his wife is killed... or so it seems. Then, years later, he is accused of having killed his wife and he finds himself struggling to prove that is not true... Of course, you cannot trust anyone's words in this thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until you realize the final credits are on the screen. Definitely worth seeing, especially because my favorite actress, the versatile Kristin Scott Thomas, stars as well and I cannot but love it every time she speaks French with that fancy accent of hers :)
Here's the trailer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Paulo Coelho's "Adultere"

"If life asked you what you did for it, what would your response be?"
"Running after a dream, that comes with a price."
"The most important lesson: learning how to love better and better."
"Love is not only a feeling, it is an art. And just like every other art, inspiration is not enough, it requires a lot of work."  
"We refuse our destiny because it leads to happiness, and we only want security."
"Nothing comes without any effort. You need to have faith."

The French edition of Paulo Coelho's latest book appeared in May this year, three months before the English version, which is bound to appear in August. Needless to say, I could not wait "so much" time and then, why should I?
The book surprised me, not due to its topic, which revolves around cheating, but because I found I could not relate to the main character's problems, more or less imaginary and her struggle to go beyond feeling bored and dissatisfied. I personally believe that you cannot get bored unless you actually want it... but Paulo Coelho felt differently with his character.
The story tells us about Linda, a 31 year old supposedly happily married journalist who decides to have an affair with a former high school lover in order to rekindle the desire and joy within herself. Whether she succeeds or not, or if she jumps - literally and metaphorically - in order to move from the darkness into the light, that's for you to discover while reading the book.
Here's Paulo promoting the book. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Barefoot in Paris

Happy Bastille Day! 
How could we better celebrate La Fete Nationale than with some French cuisine? I am not much of a cook, but when I stumbled upon this book, "Barefoot in Paris" I did want to check some of the (easy) recipes. Actually, the book offers more  than simple ways of cooking a la francaise, the author also writes about French cookware or ingredients and how to dress a table... I have chosen five or six recipes I would like to try in the near future, such as "eggplant gratin", "moules marinieres" or "pain perdu" but nothing beats the classic CROQUE MONSIEUR! Here's the recipe from the book!
Bon appetit!

Croque Monsieur
One day, my friend Frank Newbold and I found ourselves on the way to the Louvre at lunchtime.
We passed Café Ruc, which is one of the Costes brothers’ restaurants, and spotted two seats
outside under the awning. They serve traditional French food, but with a modern twist. This was
inspired by the delicious croque monsieurs we ate there. These sandwiches are on the small side,
so serve one or two per person, depending on appetites.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (5 cups)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup grated Gruyère, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on two baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyère. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyère, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Le Week-end" in Paris

 If there is only one movie you should see this month, then it has to be "Le week-end", a British bittersweet comedy/drama written by Hanif Kureishi, whose book "Intimacy" I also enjoyed watching on the screen years ago.
The movie is about a married couple who decide to celebrate their 30th anniversary by going to Paris, where they spent their honeymoon. Nothing spectacular so far, except that they seem to feel differently about the stage they are in, and their relationship.
Although Nick feels that she is the only one he could love, Meg may be on the brink of asking for a divorce since she feels there is more than "THE one" in one's life. To quote her, "love dies only if you kill it", while Nick honestly states that "love is the only interesting thing, far more difficult to do than sex".
However, they do meet somewhere in the middle (on a Parisian bridge, maybe) to realize that the love between them is stronger than any whim or even resentment they may have. As The Telegraph put it, it is simply "sophisticated, sharp and funny". Is there anything else to ask for in a movie? Maybe that it be set in Paris? Checked :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Paris in July est la!

To celebrate Paris, France and other lovable things that are related to these, in July, everything turns into French, even the music I listen to ...

On attendra l'hiver
Pour s'écrire qu'on se manque
Que c'était long hier
Que c'est long de s'attendre.