Review: Julia Louis-Dreyfus ‘Picture Paris’ on HBO

They don’t get much quirkier than short film ‘Picture Paris” on HBO. <P>Just a half-hour in length, this whirlwind of sights and emotion will take you from the USA to France, with a bit of vengeful fantasy thrown in for good measure.</P> <P>Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Ellen, a middle-aged mom who is losing her her son to college and her husband without consciously realizing it. </P> <P>The short was written and directed by her real-life husband Brad Hall in what I can only describe as frantic melancholia with a bittersweet wedge thrown in for good measure.</P> <P>There are few major plot twists that I cannot divulge "Picture Paris" airing tonight at 9 on HBO. </P> <P>Suffice to say you will be shocked and wondering if there’s more to the story when it ends.</P> <P>Louis-Dreyfus plays Ellen, a mother with an obsession for all things French and for Paris. She is learning the language, the cuisine and flirting non-stop in her quest for a life reboot, with a trip planned with her not-as-enthused husband to the <EM>belle pays</EM> <EM>de</EM> France.</P> <P>Olivia (Rachael Harris) is Ellen’s best friend who cheers her incessant Francophilia on.</P> <P>Ellen’s husband Randy (D.W. Moffett) is not amused by his wife’s love affair with France. Events occur that have our Ellen leaving for Paris solo.</P> <P>Her deep pockets allow her to live unstructured (no job, affluent life) in a luxury Parisian flat. Waiter Marcel (Gregory Fitoussi) enters her life but not as you imagine. The Social media reconnection gambit is broached as Ellen reconnects with an old flame. </P> <P>Reinvention becomes moments of deep regret and chagrin. </P> <P>This is a visually sumptuous feat, as Paris is a stunning perfectly lit backdrop. The DP gives it loving, lensed moments. The bottom line: Glorified Paris tropes and happiness reside in your heart and mind, less of the actual locale.</P> <P>Louis-Dreyfus is quite a wonderful as Ellen, and I hope to see her take more chances outside of her normal acting path like this effort. </P> <P>The art of the succinct short film hopefully will be resurrected for more networks too. Say what you will about this effort, you will remember it.</P> <P> </P><EMBED height=315 type=application/x-shockwave-flash width=560 src= allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always"></EMBED>Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.