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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Movie Review - Welcome to New York

Welcome to New York (2015)
Starring Gérard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset, Marie Mouté, and Pamela Afesi
Directed by Abel Ferrera

Apparently, the US release of director/co-writer Abel Ferrera's Welcome to New York was heavily edited from his original vision which may explain why the flick falls apart in its final hour, appearing unfocused and sometimes a bit incomprehensible.  Then again, perhaps the edits strengthened an otherwise poorly directed film -- I won't know because I don't plan on seeking out the original edit.  Despite what could've been an intriguing premise -- loosely based on the true story of French businessman/politician Dominque Strauss-Kahn -- and some decent acting from the film's two leads, Welcome to New York doesn't form into a cohesive enough whole to be a success.

Devereaux (Gérard Depardieu) is a powerful French businessman, perhaps in line to become the country's next President.  Upon arriving in New York City on business, Devereaux is greeted at the hotel by some friends and a trio of prostitutes they've hired to give the sex-crazed Frenchman a good time.  After the arrival of more prostitutes and a fun night, a maid (Pamela Afesi) arrives to a seemingly empty room the next morning.  As she begins to clean up, Devereaux steps out of the shower and, according to her forces her to commit a sexual act.  Upon telling the police, Devereaux is detained at the airport and imprisoned for his crime awaiting trial.

All is good up until this point of the film, but here's where the final half starts to fall apart with a lack of story.  There's simply not much that happens in the film's final hour besides some weird monologues and some well-acted, but sometimes misplaced scenes between Devereaux, his strong-willed wife Simone (Jacqueline Bisset), and his expat daughter Sophie (Marie Mouté).  Dépardieu and Bisset play nicely off one another as a couple seemingly together for societal advancement as opposed to love, but the moments involving his daughter in particular seem unnecessary and lacking reason for existence.  It's tough to criticize the director as this version wasn't his vision, but I can't fathom how a longer edit would've solved this film's problems in its second half which is filled with nothing that feels like any semblance of a plot.  Unfortunately, a promising start fades to disappointment in Welcome to New York.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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