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Russian Dolls

Did 'L’Auberge Espagnole' need a followup? Why is Xavier so unlikeable? Do the elements that work balance with the elements that don’t?

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"How can I write a love story? I know nothing about love. I’m a self-centered egotist."

Cédric Klapisch got a chance to return to the life of Xavier from his successful 2002 film L’Auberge Espagnole just a few years later, but how well does it work out? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our series on Klapisch’s Spanish Apartment trilogy with his 2005 film Russian Dolls.

We look at why this film is vastly more frustrating that its predecessor and that all of our difficulties stem from an unlikeable protagonist. We discuss why the focus on love is a real challenge in a world sullied by Klapisch’s and Xavier’s ‘male gaze’. We look at the creativity in the filmmaking style, why it works in some places, and why it fails in others. And we look at the rest of the wonderful cast and discuss their interesting roles.

It’s a frustrating follow-up to a film that we liked a lot, largely because it feels like Klapisch didn’t have as strong a direction with it. Regardless, we have a great time talking about it so check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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