Avenue Montaigne | Chicago Reader

Avenue Montaigne

Daniele Thompson's Gallic divertissement deftly orchestrates three simultaneous cultural events on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne. Behind each lurks a personal drama tied to the arts: an ailing businessman turned connoisseur (Claude Brasseur) sells off the extraordinary collection that was his raison d'etre; a feted concert pianist, stifled by highbrow elitism, yearns to share his music with the masses; and an overworked actress spends her days rehearsing a Feydeau farce, her nights shooting a popular soap, and her downtime angling to play Simone de Beauvoir in an American biopic. Effortlessly interlinking the stories through the jaunty perambulations of a fresh-faced waitress from a local cafe, Thompson's crowd-pleaser makes up in refined schmaltz what it lacks in innovation or profundity. In French with subtitles.

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