11/27/2014  
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With ‘Four’...
"Dancing with the Stars" season 19 crowns a winner ...
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9...
Demi Lovato Talks Miley Cyrus: "I Have Nothing in Commo...
5 Things That Should Be In Katy Perry's Super Bowl Half...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
PANDORUM...
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037...
VAMPIRE PARTY...
GIMME SHELTER (BLU-RAY)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Sony Picture Classics presents
Lila Says (Lila dit ça) (2004)

"See? I have an angel's face. Everyone says so."
- Lila (Vahina Giocante)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: November 28, 2005

Stars: Vahina Giocante, Mohammed Khouas
Other Stars: Karim Ben Haddou, Carmen Lebbos, Hamid Dkhissi, Lotfi Chakri, Edmonde Franchi, Stťphanie Fatout, Ghandi Assad
Director: Ziad Doueiri

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, language, a brief violent image
Run Time: 01h:30m:35s
Release Date: November 29, 2005
UPC: 043396125520
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A+B+B D

DVD Review

Chimo (Mohammed Khouas) is a 19-year-old Muslim living with his mother in a poor, cramped area outside of Marseilles, and we learn during a voiceover from him that his "life is made up of tiny, useless bits." He is tempted with an enticement from one of his teachers to attend a writing course in Paris, but money is of course an object, and he seems to feel hopelessly trapped in his dead-end neighborhood. The post-9/11 tensions have obviously run just as high in France as they have elsewhere (witness the recent Paris riots), and Chimo and his three thug pals waste their days doing nothing particularly productive. A turning point occurs when Lila (Vahina Giocante), a blonde 16 year old, moves into the largely Arabic community, causing an emotional domino effect of sexual urges to surface.

The first time we see Lila—through the viewfinder of Chimo's video camera—is just after the opening credits, as she is describing in lyrically poetic terms how others see her beauty. She ends her discourse with a startlingly frank question, asking Chimo if he would like to see a certain part of her anatomy. From that moment on director Ziad Doueiri paints the enigmatic Lila as a blend of Lolita-esque temptress and secure woman-child who is relaxed and comfortable with the power of her blossoming sexuality. Chimo and Lila, a modern-day variation of Romeo and Juliet, are drawn to one another as all opposites eventually attract, as both characters flirt and brood as their relationship slowly takes root.

Doueiri adapted the screenplay from the controversial book allegedly by the real-life Chimo, and chunks of the plot are driven in large part by the voiceover narration from his writings, read by Mohammed Khouas, describing the tumultuous effect the girl has had on Chimo's life. It's a natural mix of lust and love, played with a pleasant gentleness by Khouas, as Chimo is drawn into the sexual dynamo that is Giocante's Lila, who imbues the young girl with a uniquely grounded grasp on the power of sex as a lifeforce. Lila has so transfixed Chimo that even when he is out cruising for girls with his friends he envisions the blonde teenager on the hood of the car as they drive through town.

Lila Says is refreshingly frank and honest in its discussion of sexuality, but this isn't just a series of overwrought taboo monologues or artsy preachings, and Doueiri eventually assembles the pieces to deliver an unpredictably sweet romance that is equal parts unconventional, brutal, and gentle. It's an off-balance combination, but the performances by Khouas and Giocante are exceptional throughout, giving Doueiri's film a solid emotional center.

As a sidebar to the film itself, there is a scene that appears to have been intentionally altered. I'm a little perplexed as to why Sony felt compelled to digitally blur the sexually explicit images from a graphic novel that Lila and Chimo are reading, especially in a film whose entire infrastructure is built on raw sexuality. It's a very brief scene, but it does figure strongly thematically, and the blurring really minimizes the effect of the intended punch this moment should have had, and it smacks of pick-and-choose censorship. My optimistic side hopes it was a result of some copyright issue, and not outright content control.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Nice job from Sony on the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer on this one, with a steady palette of bright, crisp colors and well-defined edge detail. The print itself is very clean, with no trace of debris or specking, and no evidence of grain. A small flaw is some minor shimmer and edge enhancement, but it is on the moderate side, and hardly a major hindrance.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.0
Frenchno


Audio Transfer Review: The sole audio option is a 5.0 French language track. Dialogue is simple and clean, with no distortion, and most of the sound is split across the front channels, with very little in the way of rear channel cues whatsoever. Ziad Doueiri employs a number of songs on the soundtrack during the course of the film, and the presentation lacks the proper depth and punch to really enhance the dramatic effect.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Baxter, Me And You And Everyone We Know, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, 2046, Heights, Yes, Saraband
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The only extras are a set of assorted trailers, led by the promising Michael Showalter comedy The Baxter. The disc is cut into 12 chapters, with optional English subtitles.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Here's a beautifully compelling and unconventional romance, full of forbidden relationships and frank sexuality all connected by the weak-kneed and numbing power of finding one's true love. Provocative, daring and surprisingly sentimental, Ziad Doueiri's film delivers strongly on all emotional cylinders.

One of the year's best. Highly recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, one direction, four, take me home, midnight memories, taylor swift’s 1989, television, dancing with the stars, alfonso ribeiro, witney carson, sadie robertson, mark ballas, janel parrish, val chmerkovskiy, horror, celebrity, demi lavato, miley cyrus, the tj show, heart attack, sonny with a chance, disney channel stars, sports, katy perry, superbowl, half time, comedy, drama, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store