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Review: Americano

Americano
Jun. 23, 2012by:
6 10

PLOT: When Martin hears of his mother’s death at her home in Los Angeles, the Frenchman is convinced to go back to take care of her estate. Years before he had lived there with his mother, yet he decided to move back to France with his father. Upon his return he discovers that his mother planned to leave her apartment to a mysterious woman named Lola. Overtaken with grief, he decides to track down the woman in hopes to understand his past and the relationship his mother secretly shared.

REVIEW: Mathieu Demy’s AMERICANO is a dark yet sometimes compelling tale. In the film – which he also wrote and directed – he plays Martin. Once upon a time Martin lived with his mother in Los Angeles after his parents separated. Yet when he was a child, he begged to return to France to live with his father. As an adult, his relationship with his mother had grown cold. Alone, without her son and her husband, she found solace in a childhood friend of Martin’s named Lola. After his mother’s death, Martin returns to Los Angeles to prepare his mother’s estate only to realize that she left Lola her apartment. He soon finds himself looking for Lola in an attempt to reconnect with the mother he has forgotten about.

Lola is a key figure in this mystery. Played by the talented Salma Hayek, the central character doesn’t appear until the second half of the film. Yet ‘Lola’ represents everything to Demy’s Martin. She is a map to his lost memory. What is it about her that drew his mother in and why was she so important? When Hayek finally makes an appearance she brings a disquieting uncertainty to Martin. Thankfully, Hayek retains the mystery of Lola throughout as much of the film revolves around how she connects to the grieving son. She gives a bleak and subtle strength to her performance, even if she feels a little clichéd at times. On paper she is simply a woman with an unexplained past who may have questionable motives for her actions, thankfully Hayek rises above it all and makes it work.

As for Demy, you have to respect the emotional levels he seeks out with what could be viewed as a tribute of sorts to his real life filmmaker parents Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy. While I’m only slightly familiar with their work, their son Mathieu brings a classic tone to this misshapen and sometimes frustrating work. Shot on film, there is a sort of grainy quality to AMERICANO which is actually very effective. In flashbacks of Martin with his mother, he is able to capture the essence of home movies shown when somebody is feeling nostalgic. As a director, he brings a quiet and deliberately paced tension to the story. As slow and sometimes strangely cut together, you have to admire his commitment to telling the tale he wants to tell.

As good as AMERICANO can be, it stumbles a little throughout. There are moments that seem so sloppily paced that you begin to wonder why a particular scene was there at all. However it occasionally seems to fit together, aside from one or two that just structurally don’t seem to work. The first half takes a little time to really get to the heart of the matter. Once he arrives in Los Angeles and meets up with Linda (Geraldine Chaplin) who has been taking care of his mother, you can tell that things can’t get much better for him. It is just too bad that the character of Linda is a so darn grating at times. No wonder why he was so quick to get away from her. Credit however must be given to Chaplin as she does give a strong performance, irritating or not.

Another problem with AMERICANO is the supporting players. Aside from Demy, Hayek, Chaplin and Chiara Mastroianni as Martin’s girlfriend, much of the cast appear to run the gamut from bad to adequate performance wise. Perhaps this was a choice made by Demy to give his film a sense of realism as there certainly is one, yet this is not aided by weak actors. It could also have something to do with it being Demy’s directorial debut, or maybe the budget. Either way, nearly every time a person appears with a short line or two, it lessens the beauty of this challenging yet intriguing feature film. Luckily the mystery surrounding ‘Lola’ still kept me involved enough to want to see the outcome. Of course if you can’t get past the flaws, you could always rent it just to see Salma’s exotic dance number. Ah, the important things in life!

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:34PM on 06/24/2012

Ah well...

I like Salma.
I like Salma.
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1:17PM on 06/24/2012
I agree with the posts below. The new look, although taking a while to get use to, is fine but I miss the sidebar. It is a pain to find older articles other than the 10 most recent articles listed below the article. Keeping the sidebar, or more links to older articles below, would really help users navigate the site.
I agree with the posts below. The new look, although taking a while to get use to, is fine but I miss the sidebar. It is a pain to find older articles other than the 10 most recent articles listed below the article. Keeping the sidebar, or more links to older articles below, would really help users navigate the site.
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5:04PM on 06/24/2012
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and bookmarking that.

2) You can see the 10 latest headlines (with images) when you land on the JOBLO news page. Click on "older stories" at the bottom, and you see 10 more, so you're seeing the 20 latest headlines with 1 click. Asking too much?? That's basically a full day's worth of news.

3) You also have the 10 LATEST HEADLINES below each article. We may be adding an option here to see the latest 20 or 30 headlines for those people who don't want to use our front page, I guess, but we never had the "latest headlines" below the articles before, now we do.

4) You can simply click on the new PREVIOUS ARTICLE/NEXT ARTICLE below each article. Again, this wasn't there before.

5) In the right hand column, there are the MOST POPULAR news articles, which you can access immediately through any article.

6) If you're searching for an article, enter the keywords in the SEARCH form above each section and you can find articles in the articles that way.

7) Below each article, there are now "5 RELATED STORIES" (brand new) which provide you with more ways to find out more about the specific film and its related news.

Phew. I think that's it off the top of my head. Now while we DO realize that "people don't like change", we'd like to ask everyone to TAKE A FEW DAYS TO SURF THE NEW SITE before destroying it with your comments. Give it a chance, is all we ask. The changes are actually NOT that dramatic and the majority of our readers have truly appreciated the upgrade.
3:27AM on 06/25/2012
Damn, it was really only 15 before? It really seemed like more than that.
And hey JoBlo I'd like to see the rest of that comment because seriously I am willing to try this out. If there are other options of seeing the headlines than let me know. That main hub page though has never been a favorite of mine though, it is full of ads(which I know keep the site afloat and all) and they are the kinds of ads that if you cursor over them they fill your screen. I'm sorry, but I can't deal with
Damn, it was really only 15 before? It really seemed like more than that.
And hey JoBlo I'd like to see the rest of that comment because seriously I am willing to try this out. If there are other options of seeing the headlines than let me know. That main hub page though has never been a favorite of mine though, it is full of ads(which I know keep the site afloat and all) and they are the kinds of ads that if you cursor over them they fill your screen. I'm sorry, but I can't deal with those. Sometimes you have to refresh to get out of them. The movie-news page is what I have as my bookmark and yea, I'd like to keep it that way.
The new look does seriously look better but come on this is constructive criticism from longtime fans of this site.
2:37PM on 06/26/2012
Sure, Ancaja123! My post being "cut off" is a BUG that we are working to resolve this week, but you can read my entire statement below. I suggest that anyone who is having issues with the 'disappearance of the left hand side NEWS HEADLINES column" check it out: [link]post3568273.
Sure, Ancaja123! My post being "cut off" is a BUG that we are working to resolve this week, but you can read my entire statement below. I suggest that anyone who is having issues with the 'disappearance of the left hand side NEWS HEADLINES column" check it out: [link]post3568273.
1:04PM on 06/27/2012
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and bookmarking that.

2) You can see the 10 latest headlines (with images) when you land on the JOBLO news page. Click on "older stories" at the bottom, and you see 10 more, so you're seeing the 20 latest headlines with 1 click. Asking too much?? That's basically a full day's worth of news.

3) You also have the 10 LATEST HEADLINES below each article. We may be adding an option here to see the latest 20 or 30 headlines for those people who don't want to use our front page, I guess, but we never had the "latest headlines" below the articles before, now we do.

4) You can simply click on the new PREVIOUS ARTICLE/NEXT ARTICLE below each article. Again, this wasn't there before.

5) In the right hand column, there are the MOST POPULAR news articles, which you can access immediately through any article.

6) If you're searching for an article, enter the keywords in the SEARCH form above each section and you can find articles in the articles that way.

7) Below each article, there are now "5 RELATED STORIES" (brand new) which provide you with more ways to find out more about the specific film and its related news.

Phew. I think that's it off the top of my head. Now while we DO realize that "people don't like change", we'd like to ask everyone to TAKE A FEW DAYS TO SURF THE NEW SITE before destroying it with your comments. Give it a chance, is all we ask. The changes are actually NOT that dramatic and the majority of our readers have truly appreciated the upgrade.
1:07PM on 06/27/2012
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and
I've mentioned this before, but you DO realize that even the previous look showed only the latest 15 headlines in the left hand column, right? You needed to CLICK to see more, which is the same here, only 10 headlines instead of 15. We realize this is a "change", but is it REALLY that big of a deal? There are VARIOUS options now in terms of seeing the headlines...

1) Stick to the front page and you can see about 30 of the latest JOBLO headlines simply by choosing the JOBLO tab and bookmarking that.

2) You can see the 10 latest headlines (with images) when you land on the JOBLO news page. Click on "older stories" at the bottom, and you see 10 more, so you're seeing the 20 latest headlines with 1 click. Asking too much?? That's basically a full day's worth of news.

3) You also have the 10 LATEST HEADLINES below each article. We may be adding an option here to see the latest 20 or 30 headlines for those people who don't want to use our front page, I guess, but we never had the "latest headlines" below the articles before, now we do.

4) You can simply click on the new PREVIOUS ARTICLE/NEXT ARTICLE below each article. Again, this wasn't there before.

5) In the right hand column, there are the MOST POPULAR news articles, which you can access immediately through any article.

6) If you're searching for an article, enter the keywords in the SEARCH form above each section and you can find articles in the articles that way.

7) Below each article, there are now "5 RELATED STORIES" (brand new) which provide you with more ways to find out more about the specific film and its related news.

Phew. I think that's it off the top of my head. Now while we DO realize that "people don't like change", we'd like to ask everyone to TAKE A FEW DAYS TO SURF THE NEW SITE before destroying it with your comments. Give it a chance, is all we ask. The changes are actually NOT that dramatic and the majority of our readers have truly appreciated the upgrade.
8:13AM on 06/24/2012
Completely agree with ancaja123.

Love the new look and the fact that next/previous article buttons are back but please give us back the sidebar. Its absence makes navigating through the articles highly confusing.
Completely agree with ancaja123.

Love the new look and the fact that next/previous article buttons are back but please give us back the sidebar. Its absence makes navigating through the articles highly confusing.
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9:17AM on 06/24/2012
All you have to do is scroll down. And open each article in a new tab. [link]
All you have to do is scroll down. And open each article in a new tab. [link]
3:21AM on 06/25/2012
yea but i didn't have to scroll down before, it was nice. and i still opened them in a new tab. Also there was a color scheme which allowed me to instantly know which articles were news, interviews, reviews, etc.
I also just posted this and it told me to log in and deleted my comment, which I already am obviously logged in otherwise I wouldn't have the option to fill in this reply box. Don't mean to be nitpicky but I like this site and want to still be a part of it.
yea but i didn't have to scroll down before, it was nice. and i still opened them in a new tab. Also there was a color scheme which allowed me to instantly know which articles were news, interviews, reviews, etc.
I also just posted this and it told me to log in and deleted my comment, which I already am obviously logged in otherwise I wouldn't have the option to fill in this reply box. Don't mean to be nitpicky but I like this site and want to still be a part of it.
+20
12:49AM on 06/24/2012

new look

Joblo, the new look is snazzy and all, but the only reason I liked Joblo compared to other sites is because of that news sidebar. Why should I have to back now and scroll to look at news, when before I could just go from one article to the next, and see them all on my screen. You should add the sidebar.
Joblo, the new look is snazzy and all, but the only reason I liked Joblo compared to other sites is because of that news sidebar. Why should I have to back now and scroll to look at news, when before I could just go from one article to the next, and see them all on my screen. You should add the sidebar.
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1:26AM on 06/24/2012
Just open them in a new tab.
Just open them in a new tab.
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