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This was the first and only feature film to be produced by the eminent writer Irwin Shaw (although he later produced a documentary film). Shaw had expressed loud and frequent dissatisfaction with earlier films based on his work (although the then-anonymous critic of "Time" magazine accused him of "crying into his champagne"), and decided that this screenplay, which he had adapted from two of his own short stories, would be protected if he produced the film himself, with his close friend Robert Parrish directing. The film was well-received by critics - though not the "Time" writer, who said that, if Shaw carried on like this, he would soon be "crying into his beer". See more »
Beautiful young Jean Seberg (as Christina James) leaves Chicago for Paris, to study painting. There, she meets beautiful young student Philippe Forquet (as Guy), who sits for a portrait. After a few months of dating, Mr. Forquet proposes he and Ms. Seberg have sex. Although she loves him, Seberg is reluctant, and wants to concentrate on forwarding her career; she dreams of becoming the next "Renoir, Matisse, (or) Picasso." Seberg and Forquet try to forge a relationship, but he has a secret. Seberg encounters other men with problems, like reporter Stanley Baker (as Walter Beddoes). Or, is Seberg, herself, the problem?
Robert Parrish's "In the French Style" features excellent black-and-white location photography, by Michel Kelber. The performances are wonderful, and Seberg's carries the film, which loses direction after, to quote, "the years pass quickly," in Paris. This film is almost perfectly divided into two separate stories. The first part, with Seberg and Forquet, is the best. The story falls apart after Seberg's character becomes a modern day "Camille" - for too many minutes into the new drama, you're wondering what happened to the endearing (and extremely beautiful looking) young couple you've been following so far
Forquet makes an additional, brief appearance. His main replacement, Mr. Baker, is given no opportunity to match the romantic build-up of Seberg and Forquet, which hurts the film considerably. After the important, mostly off-screen relationship with Baker gets going, the story switches gears to focus on the arrival of Seberg's father, Addison Powell, in Paris. Father Powell wants Seberg to give up "the life you lead" (meaning men and parties) and return to a more ordinary life in Chicago. Seberg has to make a decision about her future when Baker's (news correspondent) job takes him to the Middle East (a war zone).
Seberg, who ended her life tragically in 1979, should have played "Camille"; she, like the movie, appears so full of potential. Forquet, who really has a handle on his character's age, is exceptional; unfortunately, he began disappearing after "The Young Rebels" (1970). Surprisingly, Powell appeared on TV's "Dark Shadows" (1968); as "Dr. Lang", he temporarily cured Barnabas Collins of vampirism. Fortunately, Baker went directly into lead roles that took better advantage of his worth, like "Zulu" (1964).
******* In the French Style (9/18/63) Robert Parrish ~ Jean Seberg, Philippe Forquet, Addison Powell, Stanley Baker
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