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THE CHATEAU

USA / France, 2001 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Jesse Peretz

The Chateau is a culture-clash comedy, shot on digital video in the south of France—a complete change of pace from Jesse Peretz's 1997 debut First Love. Last Rites. The setting a badly maintained chateau in the French countryside inherited by American brothers Graham ad Alex. When they arrive, their communication with the resident French staff is difficult, made all the worse by conflicting interests. The brothers feel forced to sell the castle. The situation gives rise to a succession of often hilarious scenes, in which the well chosen cast has plenty of room to shine, exemplified in a scene where Paul Rudd (Clueless, The Cider House Rules) informs the staff, in a speech compiled using a pocket dictionary, about the sale of the castle. The Chateau is an irresistible funny and original film.

"Much of the early comedy centres on language barriers. The blissful ignorance of American youth in assuming that the entire world is on the same cultural wavelength represents an easy target, but the cast nonetheless draws plenty of fresh, spontaneous humour from the situation,"—Variety

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