Category Archives: France

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host France’s President Sarkozy and First Lady Carla at the White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama meets with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in the Oval Office, March 30, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The President and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France spoke to the media after meeting at the White House.

France’s first couple visited Columbia University and the Alliance Francaise and dropped in on Julliard School of Music students. The first lady is a musician herself; her last album “Comme si de rien n’était” was released in July 2008. Scroll down for a video of her singing the song “Quelqu’un m’a dit.”

Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy also visited Washington’s Kipp DC charter school (Knowledge is Power Program). The kids were over the moon at their visitor and her entourage of bodyguards. They greeted her carrying French flags and sang to her, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She read them a Madeline book from the series about a girl living in France — read it in English, which the Italian-born French first lady speaks fluently.

The Sarkozy’s gift to the Obama family was some Asterix comic books for the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia. According to The Examiner, the French president and his wife decided to do what regular people do. They stopped by local DC landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl and got a half smoke for lunch.

In the evening President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosted a private dinner (closed to the press) for President Sarkozy and Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy. (hoping to have a photo soon…)

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi Meets with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France

Posted by: Audiegrl

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) speaks to the media as French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) listens as they meet on Capitol Hill March 30, 2010 in Washington, DC. Sarkozy is on a visit in Washington and he will meet with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office later today. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a press availability this afternoon with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France prior to their meeting in the Capitol. Below are their remarks:

Speaker Pelosi:
Good afternoon. Once again, it is an honor to welcome the President of the French Republic to the Capitol of the United States. We all remember with great pride his beautiful speech to a joint session of Congress.

We are all reminded there are only two paintings in the chamber of the House of Representatives—one of the father of our country, George Washington, the other of the Marquis de Lafayette. Our friendship goes back a long way, and the President’s visit then and now reinforces that friendship.

I look forward to our conversation regarding the security of our countries: whether it relates to stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the situation in Iran relating to that; our cooperation in Afghanistan; and the issue of regulatory reform and our economic security. I would be interested to hear the President’s thinking on that subject. I know he has been a strong leader in that regard as well. And then of course, the issue of climate change, in which France and the European Union have lead the way.

So I am delighted to receive once again, President Sarkozy to the Capitol in friendship and again, with great recollections of his excellent speech to the Congress now almost two-and-a-half years ago when he was a new President of the French Republic.

President Sarkozy:[Translated from French]
I am so happy to be back in the Capitol. Thank you for your kind words about my speech. I, believe you me, I have not forgotten that moment, which was a memorable one in my life.

We will cover the wide range of topics you mentioned. I have much admiration for you, Madam Speaker. It is a great and wonderful symbol that there be a woman Speaker, in this, the world’s number one power.

This visit to the United States is very important to me. This afternoon with President Obama, I will be talking about the joint work of France and the United States.

Thank you.

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House

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Photo of the Day: Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay (in English: The Orsay Museum) is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine, housed in the former Orsay railway station. It holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist masterpieces by popular painters such as Monet and Renoir. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume previous to the museum’s opening in 1986.

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82nd Annual Academy Awards ~ Oscars® ~ Best Foreign Language Film

Posted by: Audiegrl

Ajami
Ajami(Israel) Directed by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani

Click here for complete coverage of Ajami, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

El Secreto de Sus Ojos
El Secreto de Sus Ojos(Argentina) Directed by Juan José Campanella

Click here for complete coverage of El Secreto de Sus Ojos, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Milk of Sorrow
The Milk of Sorrow(Peru) Directed by Claudia Llosa

Click here for complete coverage of The Milk of Sorrow, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Un Prophète
Un Prophète(France) Directed by Jacques Audiard

Click here for complete coverage of Un Prophète, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The White Ribbon
The White Ribbon(Germany) Directed by Michael Haneke

Click here for complete coverage of The White Ribbon, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
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Academy Award® Nominated: Paris 36

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A man is charged with murder. He is Pigoil, the aging stage manager at Chansonia, a music hall in a Paris faubourg. His confession is a long flashback to New Year’s Eve, 1935, when he discovers his wife is unfaithful and Galapiat, the local mobster, closes the music hall. Over the next few months, Pigoil loses custody of his beloved son, Jo-Jo, and must find work. Pigoil and his pals take over the Chansonia as a co-op; Galapiat is momentarily benign. Their star is the young Douce, a girl from near Lille for whom Galapiat lusts. She in turn falls in love with Milou, a local Red. There are ups and downs, but mostly ups – but what about Jo-Jo and what about the murder?

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The cast includes: Gérard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad, Nora Arnezeder, Pierre Richard, Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Maxence Perrin, François Morel, and Élisabeth Vitali

Reviews

IMDB member
“Nora Arnezeder reminds me of movie stars of the thirties : beautiful, charming, she can sing, dance, act… Star quality ! As for the film itself, the story is rather simple, which I come to realize, is often what makes it good. It’s not so much what the story is about but rather how you tell it. And in that case, you get to laugh, cry, you care about that Pigoil who looses his job, his wife and even his son and who doesn’t loose hope, about Milou and Douce’s love story. You’ll love the great new songs, the homage to Busby Berkeley, Jacky’s lousy jokes (a reprise of Kad’s own TV skit) and secondary characters played by first-rate comedians like François Morel and the great Pierre Richard. What’s not to like?”

Did You Know?

Faubourg is French for “the district.” The film focuses on the lives of residents of an unnamed district in Paris.

The old man, Monsieur TSF, who stays in his apartment listening to jazz on his radio, is named after TSF Radio du Jazz, a popular French radio station that has broadcast jazz music since the 1930s.

One Nomination

Best in Music (Original Song)

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Academy Award® Nominated: Coco Before Chanel

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Several years after leaving the orphanage to which her father never returned for her, Gabrielle Chanel finds herself working in a provincial bar both. She’s both a seamstress for the performers and a singer, earning the nickname Coco from the song she sings nightly with her sister. A liaison with Baron Balsan gives her an entree into French society and a chance to develop her gift for designing increasingly popular hats. When she falls in love with English businessman Arthur Capel further opportunities open up, though life becomes ever more complicated.

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The cast includes: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain, Emmanuelle Devos, and Etienne Bartholomeus

Reviews

IMDB Member from Canada
“The first time the I heard about this movie was in this site I was going through Audrey Tautou’s page when I see ”Coco Avant Chanel” post production i was like so stunned and curious I went on the net could find any solid source and few months later, the first trailer came out. Then I saw how Tautou was looking, she was a diva in this movie, and even if Marion Cotillard won it for La Vie en Rose Tautou is surely getting an Oscar nom for her performance. What i really liked about this movie is that even if it based on Fashion its not superficial and its not like an big Fashion movie for crazy fashionesta’s this movie is quite simple and well structured. The story is modest and based on the begging of Chanel mix that with a strong screenplay and voilà! My final rating is 7,5\10. “

Did You Know?

From 1934 to 1971 Coco Chanel made the Hotel Ritz, Paris, France her home. A suite, in honor of her memory, has been named after her: the Coco Chanel Suite.

One Nomination

Best in Costume Design

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Academy Award® Nominated: Julie & Julia

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Julia Child and Julie Powell – both of whom wrote memoirs – find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends… until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

In 1949, Julia Child is in Paris, the wife of a diplomat, wondering how to spend her days. She tries hat making, bridge, and then cooking lessons at Cordon Bleu. There she discovers her passion. In 2002, Julie Powell, about to turn 30 and underemployed with an unpublished novel, decides to cook her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in a year and to blog about it. We go back and forth between these stories of two women learning to cook and finding success. Sympathetic, loving husbands support them both, and friendships, too, add zest.

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The cast includes: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Helen Carey, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Jane Lynch

44D’s Reviews

IMDB member in New Zealand
“Meryl Streep continues to amaze. There’s never been an actress quite like her. Her body of work is a gallery of character without parallel. After 3 decades she is still brand new. She never became a parody of herself like many other great actresses before her and, chances are, she never will. Here she recreates a popular icon, fearlessly. Her joy is utterly contagious and her side of the film is a marvel. Amy Adams, good as she is, becomes an unwelcome distraction. We want to stay with Meryl’s Julia all the way. I think that Norah Ephron (Mixed Nuts) must have known, she must have! Didn’t she notice in the cutting room, that we were going to be turning away from the story every time we move away from Julia Child? In any case I’m glad we had the chance to see this new Meryl Streep creation. Kudos also to Stanley Tucci. Stanley and Meryl create one of the most original believable couples in decades. Thanks to modern technology we will be able to re-edit the film for private consumption and have a sensational short : Julia in Paris.”

Did You Know?

Because of Meryl Streep’s height (5’6″) several camera/set/costume tricks had to be employed to mimic Julia Child’s height (6’2″). Countertops were lowered, Streep wore extra high heels, and forced perspective camera angles were used.

Both the Paris and Boston train terminal shots were done in the beautifully restored New Jersey Transit Hoboken Train Terminal waiting room.

Stop The Train‘ by Henry Wolfe is included in the soundtrack. Henry (Real name Henry Gummer) is Meryl Streep’s son.

Paul Child was 10 years older than Julia, however in reality Meryl Streep is 11 years older than ‘Stanley Tucci’.

One Nomination

Best Actress~Meryl Streep

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Nominated for Best Actress ~ Meryl Streep ~Julie & Julia

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Meryl StreepA two-time Academy Award® winner and recipient of a record-breaking fifteen Oscar® nominations, MERYL STREEP (Julia Child) has portrayed an astonishing array of roles in a career that has cut its own unique path from the theatre through film and television. She was recently honored by the Lincoln Center Film Society with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Most recently, Streep was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Actress for her performance in Doubt, in which she starred opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. She will next be heard as the voice of Mrs. Fox in director Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and she will be seen starring for Nancy Meyers in the writer-director’s untitled project for Universal Pictures.

Prior to that, she starred opposite Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Christine Baranski in the smash hit Mamma Mia!, based on the hugely successful Broadway musical. In 2007 she appeared opposite Robert Redford and Tom Cruise in Lions for Lambs, which Redford also directed, and in New Line’s Rendition with Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Streep made her film debut in 1977’s Julia opposite Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave. In her second screen role, she starred opposite Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter, which earned Streep her first Academy Award® nomination. The following year she appeared in Woody Allen’s Manhattan and won her first Academy Award® for her role opposite Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer. She then received her third Academy nomination for The French Lieutenant’s Woman and later went on to win the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Sophie’s Choice, in which she starred alongside Peter MacNicol and Kevin Kline.

Other early film credits include her Oscar-nominated performances in Mike Nichol’s Silkwood, Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa, Ironweed, directed by Hector Babenco, and Fred Schepisi’s A Cry in the Dark, which also won her the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, The New York Film Critics Circle, and an AFI award. She also appeared in Falling in Love with Robert De Niro and Mike Nichols’s Heartburn.

Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep as Julia Childs in Julie & Julia

In the 1990’s Streep took on a variety of roles including She-Devil and Postcards from the Edge, for which she received Golden Globe nominations as well as an Oscar nomination for the latter; Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks, Death Becomes Her opposite Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis, The House of the Spirits, The River Wild, Clint Eastwood’s screen adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County, which won her a SAG Award and Golden Globe and Oscar® nominations; Marvin’s Room with Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio, which earned her another Golden Globe nomination, Barbet Schroeder’s Before and After, One True Thing opposite Renee Zellweger, for which Streep received SAG, Golden Globe and Oscar nominations as well as the Golden Camera Award at the Berlin Film Festival, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Wes Craven’s Music of the Heart, which earned Streep her twelfth Academy Award® nomination.
In 2003, Streep’s work in The Hours won her SAG and Golden Globe nominations. That same year, her performance in Spike Jonze’s Adaptation won her a Golden Globe for Supporting Actress and BAFTA and Oscar® nominations. Her other recent films include The Manchurian Candidate, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Prime with Uma Thurman, Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, Evening, and The Devil Wears Prada, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress as well as Academy Award®, SAG and BAFTA nominations.

In theater, Streep appeared in the 1976 Broadway double-bill of “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” and “A Memory of Two Mondays,” the former winning her the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Theater World Award and a Tony nomination. Other theater credits include Secret Service, The Cherry Orchard, the New York Shakespeare Festival productions of Henry V and Measure for Measure, the Brecht/Weill musical Happy End, Alice at the Palace, which won her an Obie; Central Park Productions of The Taming of the Shrew and The Seagull, and, most recently, Tony Kushner’s adaptation of Brecht’s Mother Courage, directed by George C. Wolfe.

In TV, Streep won Emmys for the eight part mini-series “Holocaust” and for the Mike Nichols-directed HBO movie Angels in America, which also won her Golden Globe and SAG Awards. She was also Emmy-nominated for her performance in First Do No Harm, which she also co-produced with director Jim Abrahams.

In 2004, Streep was honored with an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Did You Know?

With her 16th nomination this year, Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most nominated performer. Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson are tied at 12 nominations each.

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Academy Award® Nominated: Un Prophète (The Prophet) ~ France

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Un Prophéte France
Set largely within prison walls, the film details the prison career of Malik el Djebena (Tahar Rahim), a 19-year-old man of North African origin but estranged from the Muslim community. Sentenced to six years for what appears to be violence against police (albeit denied by Malik), he is chosen by Cesar Luciani (Niels Arestrup), feared kingpin of the prisons reigning Corsican gang, to kill a prisoner named Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi) who had initially offers Malik drugs in exchange for sex. Reyeb is in prison awaiting testifying against the mob. Malik commits the bloody murder, and thanks to Luciani’s near-total control of the prisons internal workings – gets off scot-free. This makes him a lieutenant in the prisons Corsican gang, initially entrusted only with menial duties and disparaged as an Arab outsider.

Haunted by visions of a ghostly Reyeb, and determined to get on, the illiterate Malik not only learns to read, but teaches himself Corsican, surreptitiously learning the ins and outs of Luciani’s business. Another inmate, Ryad (Adel Bencherif), becomes Malik’s friend, later his ally on the outside. When Luciani arranges periods of leave for Malik, entrusting him with various criminal missions, Malik takes the opportunity to do some business of his own, setting up a drugs trade with Ryad’s aid. Life gets increasingly dangerous for Malik, both inside and outside prison walls, but he seems partly through Reyeb’s benign, unearthly influence – to lead a charmed life. Powers of prophecy are attributed to him after surviving a bizarre car crash an incident presaged in an enigmatic fantasy sequence.

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Credits

Directer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacques Audiard
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard, Abdel Raouf
Cinematography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stéphane Fontaine
Editing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juliette Welfling
Production Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michel Barthélemy
Costume Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Virginie Montel
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexandre Desplat
Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brigitte Taillandier
Production Company . . . . . . . . . . . . .Why Not Productions/Page 114/Chic Films

The cast includes: Tahar Rahim (Malik El Djebena), Niels Arestrup (Cesar Luciani), Hichem Yacoubi (Reyeb), Adel Bencherif (Riad).

Reviews

IMDB member from France
At times hard to watch but in the end you come out with the feeling of having watched a masterpiece. Perfect acting, scenario, directing, cinematography & sound…This is definitely not a Hollywood production, but the best of what french cinema can be. Audiard is a great director, having previously made Read My Lips which I also recommend. The main actor Tahar Rahim is a revelation, keep an eye on him in the future. Niels Arestrup is also quite good in his role as a Corsican crime boss.

Did You Know?

Un Prophète is the 36th nomination for France. It has taken home nine Oscars for My Uncle (1958), Black Orpheus (1959), Sundays and Cybele (1962), A Man and a Woman (1966), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), Day for Night (1973), Madame Rosa (1977), Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978) and Indochine (1992).

Additionally, France received three Special/Honorary Awards prior to the establishment of Foreign Language Film as a regular category in 1956: for Monsieur Vincent (1948), The Walls of Malapaga (1950) [shared with Italy] and Forbidden Games (1952). Other nominations were for Gervaise (1956), Gates of Paris (1957), La Vérité (1960), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Live for Life (1967), Stolen Kisses (1968), My Night at Maud’s (1969), Hoa-Binh (1970), Lacombe, Lucien (1974), Cousin, Cousine (1976), A Simple Story (1979), The Last Metro (1980), Coup de Torchon (“Clean Slate”) (1982), Entre Nous (1983), Three Men and a Cradle (1985), Betty Blue (1986), Au Revoir Les Enfants (Goodbye, Children) (1987), Camille Claudel (1989), Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), Ridicule (1996), East-West (1999), The Taste of Others (2000), Amélie (2001), The Chorus (Les Choristes) (2004), Joyeux Noël (2005) and The Class (2008).

One Nomination

Best Foreign Language Film ~ France

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Cancer Treatment and Health Care Reform

Blogged by: BarbaraOBrien1

One argument you may hear against health care reform concerns cancer survival rates. The United States has higher cancer survivor rates than countries with national health care systems, we’re told. Doesn’t this mean we should keep what we’ve got and not change it?

Certainly cancer survival rates are a critical issue for people suffering from the deadly lung mesothelioma cancer. So let’s look at this claim and see if there is any substance to it.

First, it’s important to understand that “cancer survival rate” doesn’t mean the rate of people who are cured of a cancer. The cancer survival rate is the percentage of people who survive a certain type of cancer for a specific amount of time, usually five years after diagnosis.

For example, according to the Mayo Clinic, the survivor rate of prostate cancer in the United States is 98 percent. This means that 98 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive five years later. However, this statistic does not tell us whether the men who have survived for five years still have cancer or what number of them may die from it eventually.

Misunderstanding of the term “survivor rate” sometimes is exploited to make misleading claims. For example, in 2007 a pharmaceutical company promoting a drug used to treat colon cancer released statistics showing superior survival rates for its drug over other treatments. Some journalists who used this data in their reporting assumed it meant that the people who survived were cured of cancer, and they wrote that the drug “saved lives.” The drug did extend the lives of of patients, on average by a few months. However, the mortality rate for people who used this drug — meaning the rate of patients who died of the disease — was not improved.

But bloggers and editorial writers who oppose health care reform seized these stories about “saving lives,” noting that this wondrous drug was available in the United States for at least a year before it was in use in Great Britain. Further, Britain has lower cancer survival rates than the U.S. This proved, they said, the superiority of U.S. health care over “socialist” countries.

This is one way propagandists use data to argue that health care in the United States is superior to countries with government-funded health care systems. They selectively compare the most favorable data from the United States with data from the nations least successful at treating cancer. A favorite “comparison” country is Great Britain, whose underfunded National Health Service is struggling.

It is true that the United States compares very well in the area of cancer survival rates, but other countries with national health care systems have similar results.

For example, in 2008 the British medical journal Lancet Oncology published a widely hailed study comparing cancer survival rates in 31 countries. Called the CONCORD study, the researchers found that United States has the highest survival rates for breast and prostate cancer. However, Japan has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in men, and France has the highest survival for colon and rectal cancers in women. Canada and Australia also ranked relatively high for most cancers. The differences in the survival data for these “best” countries is very small, and is possibly caused by discrepancies in reporting of data and not the treatment result itself.

And it should be noted that Japan, France, Canada and Australia all have government-funded national health care systems. So, there is no reason to assume that changing the way health care is funded in the U.S. would reduce the quality of cancer care.

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