Paulette (SBIFF ’14)

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Any stoner’s out there? – put the bong down, and read this review.

Paulette is an European mix of Konji’s “Weeds” and Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” mixed with Grumpy Old Men (Matthau). And it’s all the better for it. The story is simple enough, Old lady can’t pay her rent, France has unequal distribution of wealth, she lives in the french “projects” so?- she decided to start selling “space cakes” to make her rent. Buys bricks! of Hash and outsells the real drug-dealers in her neighbrohood. This film, as I’ve learned recently, just beacuse it’s European doesn’t mean that it’s serious. It’s funny, and very R-Rated Hollywood, one can easily imagine Betty White, Meryl Streep or even Tina Fey in 10 years playing the picaresque role of Paulette.

It’s supposedly “based on a true story”

the lighting is very good, moody, low-key lighting, great use of shadows to create atmosphere, especially when Paulette is taking a meeting with the “drug bosses” of the neighborhood, the lighting really sells the idea that an old lady can sell Hash.

Paulette, is, A dramedy watered with the world of drugs and the current social situation as a backdrop. Alot of the comedy comes from the fact that Paulette is racist and generally dislikes other people. But you never, as an audience member, start hating her, you always side with her.

Paulette’s neighbors also get in on the action. They start to bug her, in funny asides, they wonder where all the money to buy all the things Paulette is coming from, and there’s a really funny scene where Paulette is “helped” by a black man to carry her groceries, the black man is police and in the bag he helps with ate pounds and pounds of Hash bricks, “why is this so heavy he asks?” and like most of the film, in a deadpan, sarcastic, dry witty way, Paulette answers, “drugs” – haha, they laugh, an old lady selling drugs? – Now that’s preposterous!

All in all, It’s a film worth killing some hours with.

– keyvan yaldai

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