Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Sous les toits de Paris
France, 2007, 98 minutes
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris Synopsis

Acclaimed Kurdish director Hiner Saleem (Vodka Lemon, Dol) takes the reins once again for his seventh feature outing in this offbeat drama.


French screen legend Michel Piccoli (I'm Going Home) stars as Marcel, an octogenarian Parisian man who inhabits a decrepit and filthy top-tiered flat in the City of Lights, initially with his younger friend Amar (Maurice Benichou). The men experience their final months together as roommates one sticky, sweltering summer. Their days are littered with resolutely small, almost fleeting pleasures, such as consortions with a waitress, Therese (Mylene Demongeot) in a nearby café and temporary respites from the suffocating heat wave that is closing in on Paris via brief dips in the community swimming pool. As time roles on, however, Marcel's life grows unbearably difficult; Amar hearkens off to greener pastures, and as autumn spells an end to the summer, the elderly man's health deteriorates to the point of rendering his life utterly unbearable. Most problematic is the fact that no one seems to stay in his life for any length of time - friends come and go with alarming rapidity, leaving Marcel to fend for himself.

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Reviewed by jeteli
There is a melancholic and lonesome vibe that  viewers can feel upon watching this film.  It follows the regular routine of Marcel who lives in a dingy and old flat... more
There is a melancholic and lonesome vibe that  viewers can feel upon watching this film.  It follows the regular routine of Marcel who lives in a dingy and old flat on the top floors of an old building.  During the first few scenes  he is with a friend and roommate named Amar, but the latter eventually leaves for another country. This makes Marcel lonelier by the minute.  He has a good friend, a waitress and later on a young lady named Julie who's from the same building, who later lost a lover to a possible suicide or drug overdose. Scenes tend to be languid and prolonged, with the absence of dialogues at some point but always it's the acting portrayal of Michel Piccoli as Marcel that shines through.  Most scenes taken inside the cramped flat is so dark and sometimes one can't even barely the characters in the dark and this may symbolically allude to the dark days of old age,  where there seems to be little or no hope and old people are somehow trapped in solitary darkness.  Feeling the sadness of Marcel is such a heartbreaking one,  and one can wonder why is it that even though he has a son it seems they are so detached from each other. Truly heart-wrenching to watch,  check out the glowing acting performance of Piccoli who won a Best Actor Award from Cannes for his performance in the movie "A Leap in the Dark".   
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Reviewed by nikkareyes
Watching this film will make you wonder and ponder about old age and how it would be if you are in the position of the lead character Marcel.  Old age... more
Watching this film will make you wonder and ponder about old age and how it would be if you are in the position of the lead character Marcel.  Old age can be very lonely and a depressing state to be in especially if you're away from family and don't have much to do day in and day out except hang around in the public pool or a local cafeteria.  No doubt, it's Michel Piccoli who reigns supreme in this film where it concerns acting portrayal.  He has that gentle manner,  very expressive eyes and calm nuances that makes him a stand out in every scene.  I noticed that there were scenes where dialogue is sparse, especially between Marcel and roommate Amar, who eventually left him and left France for good. Heart-wrenching film that gives a closer look on the struggles that one has during the twilight years of his life.  Worth checking out! 
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