Yet another film about the club scene, Mia Hansen-Løve’s rambling study of modern-day futility seems rather fatuous.



Joining the club: Laura Smet


It should be pointed out that Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden has won its share of critical acclaim. Vraiment, it was nominated for best foreign-language film of the year by the London Film Critics’ Circle. Pourquoi? A sprawling study of the garage scene in Paris, the film features Félix de Givry as Paul, an aspiring DJ with a lot of problems. So, as the years zip by (the film starts in 1992 and ends in 2013), Paul ditches his literary studies to become a full-time DJ, mixing his beats in a variety of venues, from an anchored submarine on the Seine to private parties for the rich. So we watch Paul getting drunk, Paul getting high, Paul pounding the dance floor and Paul getting morose. Actually, Paul spends a lot of time being morose, like a young Gallic Jake Gyllenhaal in a home movie. His girlfriends come and go, although the delightful Belgian actress Pauline Etienne procures the most screen time, displaying an impressive array of hairstyles and colours along the way. And apart from his girl trouble, Paul experiences mounting financial difficulties, as well as a growing addiction to cocaine. Constantly borrowing money from his long-suffering and cash-strapped mother (Arsinée Khanjian, wife of the director Atom Egoyan), Paul would never seem to learn from his mistakes. “At least you don’t do drugs,” his mother sighs. But of course he does. Besides the music, the film seems to spend more time on his break-ups than on his romantic overtures, as the women he uses and abuses seem to fall into his lap as easily as a fast-cut to a following scene. Thus, it’s hard to care for the fellow and if one is not into house music – his abiding passion – one might find him a waste of time. So many films have been made about the club scene that Eden seems a rather superfluous adjunct, other than being a realistic portrayal of the movement that spawned Daft Punk, the French exemplars of house music.




Cast: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Vincent Macaigne, Hugo Conzelmann, Zita Hanrot, Roman Kolinka, Greta Gerwig, Laura Smet, Sigrid Bouaziz, Golshifteh Farahani, Brady Corbet, Arsinée Khanjian, Tony Humphries, Olivia Ross.


Dir Mia Hansen-Løve, Pro Charles Gillibert and Jimmy Price, Screenplay Mia Hansen-Løve and Sven Hansen-Løve, Ph Denis Lenoir, Pro Des Anna Falguères, Ed Marion Monnier, Music Daft Punk, Joe Smooth, Frankie Knuckles and Terry Hunter, Costumes Judy Shrewsbury.


CG Cinéma-Metrodome Distribution.

130 mins. France. 2014. Rel: 24 July 2015. Cert. 15.