Here’s a recommendation for any film fans. Sur mes Lèvres is a great French film from 2002 starring Vincent Cassel and Emmanuelle Devos. It’s about a lonely secretary with hearing difficulties (she happens to be a lip reader) who hires an assistant at work. Her new assistant is an ex-con trying to get by without attracting attention to himself (basically, he has a few debts to pay). The film is really well balanced in exploring both characters equally. It spirals slowly from misdemeanor to crime, suspense to violence. The best thing about it is that you’ll probably find it quite cheap on Amazon!
I love the tendency of French films to invest so much in conversation. Having watched Inglorious Basterds recently (and thinking back to Death Proof) I realise that Quentin Tarantino makes the most of conversation in the same way. Christoph Waltz is clearly going to be a rising star in Western films soon enough. One of the very best performances I can think of is F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus. Maybe it’s partly thanks to the quality of the film in general but Abraham’s monologue as the aged rival composer, Salieri, is incredibly dynamic. I can only imagine what happens in the minds of these actors as they read words in a script and consider how they might deliver them on screen.