This wonderful multifaceted, multigenerational tour de force takes us throughout the lovely city of Paris, then to the slums of Cameroon and back.

We hear ruminations from a six year old on whether or not there is a Santa Claus, and from a middle-aged professor on whether or not the minutiae of early Parisian history can justify a life-long career. A heart patient imagines happiness in the faces of all those he sees from his taxi, but we recognize some of those faces and realize the truth.

Among the people we get to know:
  • Juliette Binoche (“Cache” and “Dan in Real Life”) who appears in movies throughout the Western world and is terrific every time. This time she plays a single mother saddled with a tough job and three children. Her brother is played by:
  • Romain Duris (“The Beat That My Heart Skipped” and “Le Divorce”) who portrays a former professional dancer who must have a heart transplant which he may or may not survive.
  • Fabrice Luchini (“The Girl From Monaco”) plays the history professor suffering a mid-life crisis. Who would have guessed a man his age could dance like THAT?
  • Fran├žois Cluzet (the steadfast, stoic husband in “Tell No One,”) is a tearful son grieving the death of his father and weeping with joy at the birth of a brand new baby.

We come to recognize the folks at the fruit stand, the vegetable stand, the fish shop, the bakery. Not only that, we understand how their worlds interconnect and appreciate how they respond to the triumphs and catastrophes which occur in their lives.

This movie is funny, sweet, romantic, scenic and tres French (with English captions).