Lost In Paris review: Fiona visits Paris for the first time to assist her myopic Aunt Martha. Catastrophes ensue, mainly involving Dom, a homeless man who has yet to have an emotion or thought he was afraid of expressing.
Lost In Paris review by Jazmine Sky Bradley, LFF 2016.
Taking on ‘the triple’ (writing, directing and starring in their creation), Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon present Lost In Paris, a lighthearted comedic tale set in the most beautiful city in the world.
Fiona (Gordon) is used to Canada’s knee-deep snow, warm coats, and blustery winds. But when she’s summoned to visit Paris by her elderly aunt Martha (Emmanuelle Riva), she ditches it all for the City of Love. Loaded up with her huge backpack (topped off with a quaint Canadian flag), she lands, wide-eyed, in the city, and goes straight to Martha’s apartment. Only problem is that she’s not home, and nobody has seen her for several days. Where is she and why is she ‘on the run’? Fiona is now faced with traversing an unknown environment, with nowhere to stay, speaking little French…and then she loses her luggage. Recognising her struggle, homeless charmer Dom (Abel) follows Fiona across town, where the pair land themselves in one awkward situation after another.
It’s fair to call Lost In Paris a crazy caper, akin to the organised chaos style of auteur Wes Anderson. Each scene plays out in a tableux, with almost perfect symmetry in every frame, letting the action enter and leave without the camera having to move. Partner this with the eccentricities of the characters themselves, alongside the theatrical feel to the choreography, and you have the perfect slapstick comedy.
What is most enjoyable about Lost In Paris‘s story is the pairing of Fiona and Dom. Fiona is skinny, lanky, not in the slightest bit graceful, and not conventionally ‘pretty’ (all crazy hair and thick-framed lenses). Dom is her male mirror image, just more in control of his movements. This plays out beautifully in their first scene together, when Dom asks Fiona to dance in a restaurant. They move together so well, so elegantly, that it’s hard to believe that Fiona is the same woman (and not the gangly baby giraffe she was two minutes beforehand). As the story develops, it’s clear there’s something between the two of them, but their similarities and stubbornness might just keep them apart.
Alongside Abel and Gordon’s onscreen partnership, they obviously have a flair for the feel and look of a film. Lost In Paris is drenched in beautiful colour, helped by its summertime setting. Every image is stunning, with each frame filling the screen, giving the audience something to look at or spot. The attention paid to the film’s cinematography really gives you a sense of Paris in summer, where love lingers in the air.
The only fallback found is, at times, the comedy. Lost In Paris doesn’t bring anything new to the genre; it just rehashes stunts and gaffes seen elsewhere before. For example, after being told that Martha has sadly passed away, Fiona and Dom travel to her funeral…or do they? You can see where the story’s going a mile off, but it’s still enjoyable all the same.
Lost In Paris is whimsical in style and rich in comedy, everything you’re looking for whilst being transported through France’s greatest city.
Lost In Paris reviewed by Jazmine Bradley at London Film Festival.
Lost In Paris plays at London Film Festival. It is currently awaiting a UK release date.