samedi 22 janvier 2011

Fucked up

Sometimes life is just really really really really fucked up. I am so pissed and angry and sad over something that has happened. However I cannot and will not tell anyone what it is. Not a single soul. This is just bloody ridiculous. I've been thinking about it over and over and over and over in my head for days and trying to make sense of it all... I don't know what to do now as it's something that's going to affect me for a long while yet, and it's just Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr so fucked up it's not funny.

The other assistant who lives down the corridor from me even asked if I was crying because I must've had a look of disappointment/sadness on my face.. I don't know.. I don't even know what I'm feeling anymore. Part sadness, part anger. I've just been thinking too much which has no doubt added to my insomnia.

Sometimes, life is just not fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like yelling and screaming but nothing comes out. I feel cold. I feel empty.

I'm sure if I told someone they'd probably say, "Oh I'm sorry to hear that... but just forget about it. It's not worth it" I can't just forget about it even if I try. It'd be impossible. It's just shit and fucked up. I know I'm not making any sense but it'll makes sense to me when I re-read this in a few months time (when, hopefully, I will be way way way over this 'thing'). But for fuck's sake, at the moment I feel like shit.

I could say, "I fucked up" (as per the header image) but the truth is, even if I went back in time and changed what happened the other result wouldn't have been great either. It was a case where I would either lose or lose. Nothing to gain. I can't say I made the wrong choice because it seemed like the right choice. If I went back in time I actually don't regret what happened at all.. but it's just stupid now... just some plain dumb stupid fucked up shit. STUPID STUPID STUPID.

I'm gonna try to have an early night for a change.


23 Jan:  Actually the title is wrong. I did speak to someone (someone impartial and relatively anonymous on the internet) and in doing so verified my conclusions that I eventually came to when I saw the light. It wasn't me that fucked up, it was them. I almost wish I could spill the beans and get an outpouring of sympathy and support (or maybe not) but it's something best forgotton. As they say, Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

(image from here).

Insomnia... This week and random thoughts

Started writing this at 1:30am this morning but then my laptop cut out because I ran out of battery...

Some things of note that happened to me this past week...

After a nice weekend in Geneva with the other assistant in my school, I had a shit Monday which is technically my day off. However, I can never relax if I stay in my room due to the location near the road (and also where the school buses pick up and drop off the kids).

The kids mock me when I tell them off (because, I have an accent, which is oh-so-hilarious you know (roll eyes)) and don't respect me. I'm sick of it.

On Tuesday, The cleaning lady (who is always super nice to me) told me to take away their 'carnet de correspondance' if they didn't listen to me.

I'm still not even entirely sure what it's about as it's something that only exists in France (I think) but basically it's a small book that keeps a record of each time they are late to class, or have to leave early, when they have a day off sick, or when they need to go to the nurses, etc. They also write in it from time to time and then the parents look at it to see if they've done anything 'naughty' which also goes in there.

vendredi 21 janvier 2011

Teaching Job Interview techniques

Yesterday I had the first meeting/lesson with my second 'client'. That is, a client for my 1:1 English lessons. I much prefer 1:1 or small groups rather than big classes. None of my classes are bigger than 12-15 students but for me that is still heaps!

As mentioned before, I teach BTS classes where we (myself and another teacher) have to help the kids write their CVs* and cover letters in English and help with job terminology and interviews, etc - all in English. Since it's far easier to get a job in France if you are bi-lingual it's an important skill to have.

Personally, myself, I have had hundreds of interviews. I'm not sure how many exactly but lots. Of these I've been interviewed for interesting positions in the head offices of large companies such as Apple (Aust), Toshiba (Aust), Hermès (Sydney/Aust) and Woolworths (the second largest private employer in Australia). Then, when I was unemployed they'd send me on all these job search training courses and mock interviews. Suffice to say, I'd like to think I now know a lot about job interviews!

So it was with much interest that I gave yesterday's lesson to this young man. He, like most people in my town, wants to work in Switzerland as the pay is double of what one earns here in France (for the same position). He said he'd been to 2 interviews already before and they were very impressed with his qualifications, skills and work experience but he was a little lacking in the English department. Even though it's only required for 20% of the job it's the main reason he didn't get those jobs so he said he really wanted to improve and wanted me to do a mock interview with him.

Now, it's not actually all that easy being on the other side for a change! I had to put the shoe on the other foot so to speak. (actually, one thing I've realised from going to so many interviews is that there are a lot of really shit interviewers!)

Anyway, he set up his iPhone to record our lesson/conversation/interview so he could refer back to it later. I didn't just help him with correcting his English grammar mistakes but actually gave him tips about what he could do or say in the interview as well.

It made me feel good on the inside to impart all this knowledge that I had accumulated over the years. When I was younger I hated interviews and used to be a nervous wreck with my stomach all knotted and twisted up but now it doesn't faze me so much anymore. Doesn't mean I'll always get the job (in fact I often don't) but I just take it all as one big learning experience.

* In France a résumé is not a CV because résumé means 'summary' which would just be the main points of your educational and professional background in one paragraph.

a job interview = un entretien (d'embauche)
CV/Résumé = CV
a cover letter = une lettre de motivation
Educational Background = Formation 
Professional Background = Expérience Professionnelle

(image from here).

Soooooooo windy

I can't believe I was thinking to myself yesterday how the weather in my region is pretty good. Sure it's cold but it's almost always sunny with blue skies, does not rain often and is hardly ever windy (which to me is the worst). I cannot remember a time where it rained for more than 3 days in a row, and can only remember about 3 days where it was really windy.

Sooo.... last night (and right now) it became extremely windy. So windy I could not sleep at all because I could hear all these rattling and banging sounds. And I just realised the wind blew all the beautiful snow away too :( The weather report calls this an 'anticyclone'. The wind is going at 35km/hr and the gust is going at 65km/hr. Crap!!!

It's -5° now, I'm totally wrecked, can barely open my eyes, am sitting in darkness and don't want to teach in an hour's time. I can only recall one night (Wednesday) this week where I've had a decent night's sleep. This has definitely been a week of extreme highs and lows for me and this psycho wind/no sleep is definitely one of the lows. The rest, I can't write about now.


This is how shockingly tired I am. I went to put my underwear and clothes OVER my pyjamas. And then I went to say, "Bonjour" to one of my colleagues but then I must've changed my mind and wanted to say "Salut" instead so it came out as "Baloo" (as in the bear in the Disney Jungle book movie).

jeudi 20 janvier 2011

Crazy week

Sorry, I know I was supposed to post up Part II of my Paris trip story but I am just toooo tired. I've had the longest day working on/off between 9am and 9:30pm (and didn't even have lunch) and am totally exhausted. This has been one of the craziest weeks of my life which started off with many lows and ended up with many highs, and with everything in between and it's not even over yet!

What happens to Christmas trees once Christmas is over?

Ever wonder what happens to all the Christmas trees (that decorate the streets of France in every city) after Christmas is over? Watch this video and find out! (it's in French though ;) )

Qu'est-ce qui arrive aux sapins de Noël après Noël ? Regardez ce vidéo et vous vous renseignerez !

Speaking of Christmas, I noticed that the lights and decorations are starting to come down now :( Some lights are still illuminated but some are not. Makes me sad to see it all come down but I guess we all have to wait another year for it to happen again!

And onto other news. I cannot believe how accurate the weather forecast is. Every time it told me it would snow in my town, it did. Over the past 2 weeks or so it has been unseasonally warm averaging about 10-13° in the day time but there was a sudden change this morning when it became cold again and as exactly as I had read in the weather forecast (météo) it started snowing this afternoon! This is the first time it has snowed since around Christmas/late December. I also feel like it's colder in my town than surrounding towns as there are always (c)lumps of snow in various places around my school, the town and the station. It has never completed melted. There has been snow in my town since 25 November. Just when it had 99.9% melted here, it started to snow again.

Thinking about the snow and the weather makes me think about the cyclical nature of the seasons, the year and life. It makes one contemplate how fast time really goes!

mercredi 19 janvier 2011

A White Christmas in Paris I

View Paris Christmas 2010 trip in a larger map

A LONG diary entry about my time in Paris over Christmas (Part I)

22 December, 2010 (Wednesday)

... I was waiting for train which came one hour late, at Karlsruhe station (freezing my butt off since I was technically waiting outdoors even though there was a roof).

The train then stopped in Strasbourg (with technical difficulties) for 30 mins.

Then, the train must have been going slower than normal (with snow on the tracks) because it arrived TWO HOURS after the ETA. Luckily I didn't have another train to catch or anyone to meet or anything else to do...

I arrived in the Gare de l'Est (East Station) which I'd never been to before and was immediately struck by how dirty the underground métro looked and how freezing it was (it appears that none of the trains and stations are not heated, and there I was in Sydney complaining about our non-heated trains. At least it's not 2° in Sydney in winter). I eventually managed to find my line and my train. Once I got out of the station I felt like a little girl again. I had my small-medium backpack and my Zuca so it's not as if I had a whole lot of bags to carry but they were both rather heavy and... it was pouring rain... and.... what is that I see? White flakes? OMG it's snowing and raining AT THE SAME TIME. Never in my life had I seen snow and rain simultaneously. I had to juggle my backpack, my Zuca trolleycase and the umbrella. Oh, and I should mention it was windy as well so my umbrella was being blown left, right and centre, and as it was about completely dark it was very hard to read street signs. I had to find my street. I find rather 'lost' for a moment there yet I was so excited I still managed to take some photos (much to the amusement/amazement/horror? of passers-by).

Here's a handy tip when travelling: 

Every time you see a map somewhere on the street, take a photo of it. That way you can refer back to it later. It's so handy! I mean you probably already have a map on you but in case you don't... In every Paris métro there are maps for the nearby streets (ie a zoomed-in kind of map) to help you find where you're going. I take a photo of this so that when I'm on the street level I can actually look at it and refer back to it! And with my camera I can store literally thousands of maps (and timetables and whatnot) so I don't need to physically carry all these heavy pieces of paper and books and stuff.

Luckily it was not a long walk to the apartment... I was lucky enough to be lent an apartment for 2 nights. In Paris!! During Christmas!! I thought I was sharing it with someone else but she wasn't there so I had the whole place to myself! It was a 1 bedroom apartment and quite possibly the smallest apartment I had ever seen in my entire life. Not that I was complaining. I was just intrigued that so much could fit into such a tiny space! You could not fit more than 1 person in either the bathroom or kitchen they were that small. I would call the interior design "eclectic" with bits and pieces of different styles.

I was so exhausted I just went to Monoprix (a supermarket) nearby and bought something to eat and looked at and sorted through my photos. I was too tired to even cook anything (despite having a full kitchen complete with coffee maker machine, toaster and blender even!) so I just bought a baguette and some instant soup and some fruit. How sad is that?! I tend to splurge on certain things and then scrimp on others and this was a time for scrimping hahaha. Despite my tiredness I recall going to bed quite late. Can't remember what I did. I could not get the internet nor the tv to work... I slept on a pull-out sofa bed which was comfortable and zonked out.

23 December, 2010 (Thursday)

I had big plans! I had decided to fulfil my dreams and my obsession with macarons and go on a "macaron marathon" around Paris. As well as that I wanted to soak in the Christmassyness of it all...

First of all though, I needed a map of the city! I had planned to get one at the Gare de l'Est when I arrived but somehow I immediately ended up in the métro underground as soon as I got off my platform (perhaps I went the wrong way I don't know. My brain was frozen from that 1 hour wait in Karlsruhe). It would be easier for me to get it at Gare du Nord instead so that was my first stop.

The night before, I'd bought a carnet of 10 tickets from one of the ticket machines. 1 ticket costs 1,70€ and a carnet costs 12,00€ so obviously you save... 5 euros! Some random guy tried to sell me one of his tickets (that he'd obviously bought as part of a carnet) for the regular price. Pfft... Not all tourists are stupid, dumb ass! Besides, I wanted the carnet and not a single ticket.

Well it worked out perfectly because the first night I used 1 ticket, then the second day (this day) I used 5, and the 3rd day (24 Dec) I used 4.

I'd been in the Gare du Nord the first time I visited Paris and remembered it was huge (as are all of the Grandes Lignes (main lines) stations in Paris). I made my way from the métro to the main lines part ASAP to find a info counter to get a map. I got 2 in fact. One to use (and write/draw/highlight on/destroy) and one to keep as a souvenir in pristine condition) - there's another tip for ya! The guy didn't seem too helpful or friendly despite the fact I was speaking in French - Parisians pfft! ;)

After 3 months of eating nothing but French and Western cuisine with the occasional Kebab, I was DYING for some Asian food! I thought I'd go to Chinatown to get some Chinese or Vietnamese. The guy at the info counter told me to go to the Place d'Italie station. So that's what I did. I basically went back to the same platform and got back on the same train/line and headed down south.

However, somebody was out to foil my plans. Or... for once in my travelling life I hadn't pre-planned anything and I was kinda lost. I mean I found some restaurants but they were not open. WTF? During lunch time? Then, it was really really windy and snowing and raining too remember... It was kinda hard to be walking great distances outside and I was starving (after eating nothing but bits of leftover baguette from last night for breakfast). So I made my way to the closest place I could find. An El Cheapo place (Gourmet Tang's) that was packed with people. However, in this case, packed doesn't necessarily mean good. I mean it wasn't super bad but it wasn't great. But for the price 4,50€ I shouldn't complain. I ordered a bun which is my all-time fave Vietnamese dish made with vermicelli noodles and spring rolls, and a dollop of fish sauce and alfalfa sprouts. It was OK but I was not that pleased with my choice of eating establishment. But I got over it.

I was too fascinated by the snow. THE SNOW. It had snowed in my town just before I left but when I was in Germany (just before) there was none. All along I had wished that it would not snow in Paris before I got there, but after. Not before so it wouldn't foil my plans and after because I wanted a white Christmas! I was overjoyed because I got my wish pretty much. Although I arrived in Paris 2 hours later than planned it didn't really ruin my plans.

I could not believe it.

The whole time I was in Paris, I could not believe it. I seriously felt like the luckiest girl alive. I was in Paris. The city most people dream about going to. It was (almost) Christmas AND it was snowing. It's the kind of thing people wish to experience but almost never do because you cannot control Mother Nature. Apparently it doesn't even snow all that often in Paris.

Everyone seemed kinda stressed what with last minute gift buying and all. There were few people outside due to the extreme weather however I was loving it all. OK maybe not the wind and the rain, but I was just loving the snow and praying it would stick around (literally).

I had planned to go to at least one Christmas market (Marché de Noël) in Paris but I didn't realise that I'd find lots of them simply by doing what I was going to do anyway. I saw some markets right near the métro entrance, and then I saw a big shopping centre (centre commercial) and decided to go in (to warm up and to have a look around since I love to window shop). I wandered in and got lost for a while before deciding I better get on with my "macaron marathon".

I took the métro to Saint-Sulpice station, where, according to my map were 3 macaron places nearby. I had already researched on the internet and found the addresses of all the places I wanted to go to and purposely chosen those close to each other (to save time obviously).

Around there I'd find Pierre Hermé, and a bit further north, Ladurée (website plays music), and a bit further south-east, Dalloyau.

The macaron review is in another blog post so I'll just mention where I went without talking about the macarons themselves here.

Before I got started though, I first had a look at the

1. Christmas markets at Saint Sulpice

2. Pierre Hermé

The story is tiny! There was a queue outside but that didn't deter me. I queued up and it moved reasonably quickly. I don't know why they make it difficult to choose the flavours. It would be good if you could look at a board or something before it was your turn to be served to save time. Almost every flavour I wanted was sold out. There were people stocking up for Christmas I guess.

3. Jardin du Luxembourg

I like to try to see/do as much as I can without wasting time backtracking across Paris on the métro... I would be passing by the Jardin du Luxembourg and what perfect time to visit one of the most famous scenes in the learning-French video/book series, French in Action! As well as that, I'd pass by Rue de Vaugirard where the fictitious family of Mireille lived. Apparently their house number doesn't exist so I didn't waste time going in search of it, but I just looked at the road and then wandered into the park. I have heard everyone rave about this park. I never saw it during my last visit to Paris so I was keen to check it out.

Let me remind you it was not the kind of day where one says, "I know! Let's go to the park today." It was practically EMPTY. There were a few strollers (as in people strolling and not the things that babies sit in. The French word for this is flaneur, I believe.) and tourists around but not many. I asked a nice American family (from Los Angeles) to take a photo for me because I was so happy to be in this park and it was snowing furiously now (although the ground wasn't completely white everywhere yet, there were patches of concrete and grass seen still).

So with them gone, I was left alone and let me tell you it's quite difficult to take photos of yourself and then all you ever see is your big fat head and none of your body...

So there I was trying to take another photo of myself in a picturesque location (comme d'habitude/as usual) when I saw another young photographer alone. We both kind of eyed each other with an expression of curiosity like, "What are you doing here?!"

I asked if he could take a full length shot of/for me and he agreed. We got talking immediately and I even took out my SLR camera. Up until that point I had only been using my compact camera (yes I have two) because it's just so much easier to be able to slip it into my coat pocket. It's actually kind of hard to take photos with gloves on but then as soon as I took my gloves off my fingers would freeze...

So we walked, and talked, and took photos. I told him I wanted to see the pond thing (bassin) where Marie-Laure (the 10-year old sister of the protagonist, Mireille, from French in Action) played with the toy boats. It was so funny and weird to see snow everywhere and hardly anybody around when the FIA series was obviously shot during summer.

The guy told me he's a law student in London and he came to Paris to escape the bad weather there. We both had a good laugh about that considering the extreme weather we were experiencing at that time!

I told him I'm from Australia but currently living in France and teaching English. I told him I was on a "macaron marathon" and he kind of rolled his eyes at me saying he couldn't understand why girls were obsessed with these things. He told me he was staying with friends in a huge apartment in Montmartre (which he couldn't pronounce because of the 'r' which was kind of funny).

After each snapping a few photos near the bassin (pond) we headed towards my next macaron stop.

He wanted to use his iphone to help us get there. The strangest thing happens to me whenever I'm with other people. I seem to lose all sense of direction yet when I'm alone I can find any place I need to go easily with just a map (no fancy phone/gadget for me! I'm 'old school'). When I am with someone it's as if I can just 'let go' and relax and let them take care of it... so he laughed when I had no idea where I was now and which direction we should head in.

4. Dalloyau

The window displays were jaw-droppingly gorgeous. They even have a nice tea room upstairs which we wanted to go to, but unfortunately it was closed for a party or something. So I just bought 3 macarons and left.

5. Some restaurant/café I forgot the name of (I think it was Café le Rostand)

We then went to a nearby restaurant to get a drink (and to sit down and warm up) and chat. After that, I had to get to the third macaron place before dark and he had to meet some friends so we exchanged email addresses and then walked back to where I started from, Saint-Sulpice métro. Along the way the wind and rain were just going like crazy. Most people were walking very quickly to get out of the weather and get inside but we were both like crazy people taking photos and laughing the whole way. I was a little bit paranoid of the rain getting inside my camera (but it was fine) and the wind kept blowing my umbrella inside out. At the back of my head I felt kind of insane to be stopping every 5 seconds to take photos in that weather (and hoping I wouldn't get sick being in it) but I knew this kind of thing does not happen often. Like seriously, who gets an invitation to have an apartment in Paris all to themselves (for FREE) during the busiest time of year (Christmas), and have it be snowing? ME. I had to make the most of it. I'm sure most Parisians were whinging and complaining about the 'horrible' weather but I was LOVING it! :D

We passed by the Saint-Sulpice Christmas markets (my second time now since I'd already seen them after Pierre Hermé) and then bid farewell to each other and parted ways. I am sure he was dying to find somewhere warm and dry again to go to. Me on the otherhand was off to the mothership, Ladurée!

6. Saint Germain Christmas markets

Les Deux Magots (which also features in FIA)

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

View all the pics on Facebook here

mardi 18 janvier 2011

Peut-etre Que Peut-etre - Patrick Fiori

It's a beautiful song but the lyrics don't make much sense in English unfortunately!

Artiste: Patrick Fiori
Chanson/Song: Peut-être Que Peut-être

J'ai changé de ville
1000 fois changé de nom
100 fois j'ai failli finir
Dans les plumes et le goudron

I changed city
Changed my name 1000 times
I failed to finish 100 times
In the tar and feathers

Je guette les signes
Amants transis plus que barons
Ma vie c'est le jeu, les vices
Les cartes et les faux jetons

I watch for the signs
Stiff lovers more than barons
My life is a game, the vices
The cards and the false tokens

Si je croise un prêtre
Je mise à fond sur les rouges
Une mouche à la fenêtre
Et c'est pas mon jour

If I cross a priest
I committed to the reds
A fly at the window
And it's not my day

Et peut-être que peut-être ou peut-être pas
Madame Fortune enfin
Me prendra dans ses bras

And perhaps that perhaps or perhaps not
Mrs Fortune finally
Will take me in her arms

Et peut-être oui peut-être que cette fois
Je ferai la Une en tirant au sort ou les rois
Et qui verra vivra 10 fois

And perhaps yes perhaps this time
I will do the One while drawing with the fate or the kings
And he who will see will live 10 times

Ma vie c'est la chance
Mes châteaux, des casinos
C'est le diable que je tente
Au poker, un peu les chevaux

My life it's a chance
My castles, of casinos
It's the devil who I tempt
With poker, a little of the horses

Chaque jour est neuf,
Je ne vis que des débuts
Des martins galants, coups de bluffs
Un peu d'embrouille au menu

Each day is new,
I only live the beginnings
Gallant martins, blows of bluffs
A little bit of muddles with the menu

Si cette fille avance
Je mise tout chiffre impair
Si sa chaise se balance, j'attends la rivière

If this girl advances
I setting any odd figure
If her chair is balanced,
I wait for the river

Et peut-être que peut-être ou peut-être pas
Madame Fortune enfin
Me prendra dans ses bras

And perhaps that perhaps or perhaps not
Mrs Fortune finally
Will take me in her arms

Et peut-être oui peut-être que cette fois
Je ferai la Une en tirant au sort ou les rois
Et qui verra vivra

And perhaps yes perhaps that this time
I will do the One while drawing with the fate or the kings
And he who will see will live 10 times

Et peut-être que peut-être, au matin là-bas
Cette fille brune fera semblant de me croire

And perhaps that perhaps, in the morning over there
This brunette girl will pretend to believe me

Et peut-être que peut-être, elle me suivra
Au clair de la lune, ami Pierrot je n'ai pas
Pari perdu t'es qu'un paria

And perhaps that perhaps, she will follow me
To the moonlight, friend Pierrot I don't have
Bet lost you're only a bet

Ouh ouh
Madame Fortune
Oh, prends-moi dans tes bras

Ouh ouh
Mrs Fortune
Oh, take me in your arms

Ouh ouh
Pari perdu j’suis qu'un paria
Ouh ouh...

Ouh ouh
Bet lost I'm only a bet
Ouh ouh...

lundi 17 janvier 2011

Another year - film review

Another Year

The other day, I watched Another Year, a film from the UK that was screened during the 2010 Cannes film festival. It was on my shortlist of films to see when I was in Nantes but I didn't see it then so I'm glad I got to see it in my own home town (in Version Originale !). I'd forgotten everything I read about it before (a good thing) and so I had no idea what to expect. For some reason I thought it was a comedy but it wasn't at all. It was a very real drama movie. So real it almost felt like a documentary about the lives of a middle-aged couple and their relatives and friends.

I have to admit the film was rather painful to watch. 'Painful' is the most apt word I can think of to describe it because I could really feel for the character of 'Mary' (played by Lesley Manville). At the beginning of the film we see her talking about her single status and life and loving it but we see later that this is not the truth...

Her colleague and friend Gerri (Ruth Sheen) is her confidante and indeed, Gerri (and her husband Tom (Jim Broadbent)) seem to be a good friend and confidante to everyone around them.

The film is presented in 4 sections - spring, summer, autumn, winter (hence the title 'Another Year') and in each section it focuses on a particular person or people, with Tom and Gerri (haha) as the ones who are always there and try to listen and help.

I think the movie depicts very accurately the emotions that each character feels, even the one we see in the first scene of the film (who is not really a character in the story but does add to it). We see Tom and Gerri, the perfect couple with a great marriage, a nice home, good incomes and jobs, widely travelled contrasted against Mary the 40-something divorcee with no home of her own, no car, no partner, no children and no money to travel. And ever so desperate. We pity her. We also end up pitying the other characters in the film who have lost their way on the path to a happy and fulfilling life.

After I went home I read all the comments on imdb (as I usually do after watching a film) and a lot of people did not like it, stating it was unrealistic and boring. The people I watched it with didn't quite like the film either and found it too long and I heard others in the cinema say it was too sad and depressing. Someone took the film to mean if you're a couple you'll be happy in life and if you're single you'll be miserable and depressed. Maybe that was the message of the film, maybe not. I have to say - spoiler alert (highlight to read)  that there really isn't an ending to the film.. it's just one of this films where afterwards you go home and think about the messages in it...

Yes, it was kind of sad and depressing to watch but I found it to be a very realistic portrayal of real life with its highs and lows. I get the feeling it's the kind of movie you can relate to better the older you are. I can imagine all the younger people not really understanding what the movie is about at all.

All the main actors were absolutely amazing in their roles. I could not fault them at all. I noticed that they did not pick stereotypically good-looking actors but ordinary-looking ones to make them appear like people you know. Your parents, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours... to make it all seem more like real life.

If you like 'slow' realistic arty films I'd highly recommend this but if you want a happy movie or one with special effects, skip it.


On another note, it was 'fun' to watch it in VO with French subtitles and learn how certain words or phrases are translated. I noticed a lot of sayings/idioms could not be translated and they just tried to get the same meaning across. I also learnt a new (colloquial) word for clothes: fringues. Never heard this one before. Added it to my fashion vocab list.

Trailer/Bande annonce with subtitles in French:

(image from here).

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