French Exit Movie Review by Myla Tosatto
Michelle Pfeiffer uses her droll wit and sardonic tone to fully animate Frances Price, the main character in French Exit. Sure, there are other people in this quirky dramedy about loss and codependency, but Pfeiffer shines (of course she does, she’s Michelle Pfeiffer!). Honestly, at this point, I would pay to see her read the Congressional roll call or something equally as boring. But when you give her a meaty part like Frances Price she is going to tear it up!
Frances Price is a socialite widow and mother who is down on her luck and completely out of money but she lives life with style and one liners. And oh, the one liners!! Working from a script from Patrick DeWitt (based upon his novel), Pfeiffer brings her spark and charm (even when her character is less than charming). After losing it all, Pfeiffer’s character packs up her adult son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) and their cat and heads to Paris. Along the way the duo pick up Madeline (Danielle Macdonald), win and lose and maybe win again Malcolm’s fiancé (Imogen Poots), befriend the lonely Mme. Reynard (Valerie Mahaffey), and hire private detective Julius (Isaach De Bankole). Throw in Frances’s friend, Joan (Susan Coyne) from New York, and you almost have a French comedy of manners. Almost. It also dapples in mystical realism so be prepared.
The other star of this movie, besides the lovely cast and adorable feline, is Paris. It looks lovely even when the waitstaff are being portrayed as jerks. Director Azazel Jacobs’s Paris would be a lovely place for anyone to make a French Exit*. French Exit is a lovely little movie and Michelle Pfeiffer is larger than life. What’s not à aimer? * French Exit means to leave without saying goodbye.