Musée haut, musée bas (2008) Poster

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A Bundle of Museum-context Hilarity!!
film_ophile26 July 2009
A French film has not had me laughing this much in a long time. What a joy from hysterical beginning to hysterical end! In a long life of films, this is actually the only film I think I have ever seen twice in one week. But then I am dead center of the target audience. I must mention that I believe this film will be understood and applauded by a very specific audience- that of museum goers with an understanding of art history. When I noticed with bafflement that the IMDb average rating was 5, I then saw that the majority of low rating voters- were young men, and my guess is that they and other low-rating voters are not in the specific audience above.

The film makes fun of and with - virtually every type of museum goer, employee, and artist : uncultured 'hicks',faux-sophisticated art patrons,nationalistic art goers,fatuous conceptual artists,neglected artists, snobby curators, obsessive-compulsive curators, Earth Mother curators, vacuous politicians, exploited Third world artists, overtaxed guards, overly dramatic guides, and all manner of self-important types. (Thus the French film title, "Museum High,Museum Low" ) though the American title, "A Day at the Museum" well chosen as well.Throughout it are sprinkled very specific in-jokes that will give added giggles to art historians, .i.e. when the car-seeker finally finds the parking area he recognizes, it is called Velasquez, and when he jubilantly comes upon the sign/poster portrait of Velasquez, one sees in the background two diminutive figures from Velasquez's famous painting of the Spanish Infanta. While unrelated in subject matter, I think this film will appeal to many of those who love Almadovar. Goofy, quirky, colorful. There seem to be included in the cast at least 25 of France's most famous actors and comedians(including two Almadovar regulars.) I can only guess that they were all willing to contribute their (mostly) bit parts because the concept and set were such fun. I bet the director is a very likable guy, and that everyone had a blast making this film .The viewing audience at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts had a blast as well. I can't wait to research and see more from this director.
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Day In The Museum
writers_reign31 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As episodic films go this is right up there with the best boasting a cast to delight anyone who admires French cinema, not least a return to acting - albeit in a minor capacity - for Tonie Marshall who last appeared BEFORE the camera twelve years ago but filled in the time usefully by writing and directing some fine movies. Her mom, Micheline Presle is also on hand as are the likes of Gerard Jugnot, Isabelle Carre, Yolande Moreau, Pierre Arditti, Fabrice Luchini, Valerie Lemercier, Michel Blanc, Andre Dussollier and more as we spend a day in the Musee Malraux switching from visitors to staff fluidly. It works best as a satire on the 'Arts' culture, a highlight being Josie Balasko being strangled for real - the end result of a 'domestic' - in full view of a group of visitors whose concern is allayed by the Guide who explains this is an example of Living Art and then prevails upon the assassin for an improv lecture. Alas, it turns symbolic which tends to let it down but see it for the cast.
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