• Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun, The

    Released By: Magnolia Home Entertainment
    Released On: April 12, 2016.
    Director: Joann Sfar
    Cast: Freya Mavor, Benjamin Biolay, Elio Germano
    Year: 2015
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    The Movie:

    When the insanely pale but attractive Dany gets an invitation from her boss Michel to help him finish a report for a next-day business trip, she jumps at the chance, figuring it's a way to work her way into his good graces. Better yet, he's asked her to spend the night in his fancy home...a step up from her crowded apartment...which will give her a chance to reconnect with her old friend Anita, Michel's wife. When she gets to the house, however, she finds the atmosphere between the three of them somewhat strained, which she responds to by befriending the couples young daughter. Thankfully, Michel and Anita have a cocktail party to attend, leaving Dany undistracted to complete the report and do away with continuing the charade of being pleased by the awkward reunion.

    Working hard into the night and then finishing up the next morning, Dany happily presents Michel with the finished work, but her boss isn't quite done with her yet. Dragging things out even further, Michel asks her to drive he and his wife to the airport, after which she's to return his car to the house before heading home. Her protests that he could store the car at the airport are met with a cold glare, and Dany reluctantly balances her hesitation with the big fat pay bonus that Michel has handed her. It doesn't hurt that the car in question is a beautiful vintage Thunderbird, and Dany does as requested.

    Had she done what she was told, Dany would have brought the film to a quick close, but, inundated by visions of a trip to the sea that she's never visited, Dany weighs her options. Would they mind? Hm...well....of course not. She decides that she'll just take it for a little spin, and veers off the highway, headed towards the ocean. Talking to herself, Dany has visions of the many things that she'll be able to do by the seaside, like dance around and such, but first she'll need a bathing suit. She detours for some well-deserved shopping; and that's when things start to get weird. A local cafe owner tells her that she's glad Dany is feeling better from when they met that morning, and refutes Dany's claims to have never met her by mentioning that she returned the very coat that Dany is wearing. And when she stops for gas, the garage owner apologizes for what happened between them the night before.

    Convinced that everyone in town has lost their minds provides temporary relief, but Dany is further confounded when a police officer pulls her over and mentions that he's glad she got her taillight fixed from the night before, and then escorts her to a hotel where she finds her name in the register, you guessed it, from the night before. Never say that things can't get worse, because they always can; and sometimes that worse involves finding a corpse and a gun in the trunk of your car. Amnesia? Elves? A diabolical master plan orchestrated by an evil genius? The bad news is that things are going to get worse before they get better, especially when the guilty-looking lady in the car with glasses and a gun finds herself without a car...and her glasses.

    Based on the 1966 novel of the same name (well, the same name not in English) and a remake of the 1970 film, "La Dame Dans L'auto Avec Des Lunettes et un Fusil" is the latest directorial effort from Joann Sfar, most known for his documentary of Serge Gainsbourg, A Heroic Life. Sfarr injects all kinds of style into the film without making it pretentious or overbearing, instead fitting in with the overall look of the film in a way that makes it seem cool and vintage but not dated. The decision to add quick cuts to unknown events is a good one in that it adds to the viewers confusion, which mounts in tandem with Dany's; and even though the main character can be accused of making a whole lot of stupid, horror-movie mistakes, her (and our) confusion makes those choices seem more logical. The lack of a conventional approach also helps move the film along as we're compelled to find out what exactly has happened and where the story is going.

    Soundtrack and visuals are also well-done and add to the enjoyment of the film, which is a good thing; because other than a combination of the highlights mentioned and some great performances, The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun isn't a very substantial film. Too many loose ends and an unsatisfactory ending that has to be mapped out onscreen to be even remotely acceptable as a conclusion unfortunately leave the weak plot points in shambles by the time the credits roll, and we're under the impression that style aside, we've just watched a film that we really didn't need to bother with. Which is a shame, because The Lady In The Car With Glasses and a Gun has everything going for it, except a convincing...anything.


    Magnolia brings The Lady In The Car With Glasses and a Gun to Blu-ray in a 2.39:1 AVC-encoded transfer that looks stunning. The aforementioned aesthetic is really something to see here, and the range of colours pop off the screen in high definition. There are no issues to speak of...this is just a great-looking transfer.

    There are two audio tracks, both DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. You can watch the film in its native French, or check it out in English. Both are competent tracks (though parts of the English track do have that exaggerated actor sound to the dialogue) and vocals are balanced well with the rest of the audio. This isn't a track that will light up your surrounds and subwoofer, but all are used to a degree, tastefully.

    English, English Narrative, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles are all included.

    First up in the extra features is The Man In The Car With A Pen And A Camera : Interview With Director Joann Sfar (26:44), an interview with the director of the film that covers his love of the novel, his problems with the script, and how he thought that they could compliment each other in the film. Sfar also shares his storyboards and talks about his obsession with style and beauty, and how they relate to his approach to directing. It's very wordy (in French with english subs) and covers a whole lot of ground.

    The Paintings of Director Joann Sfar (2:48) has Sfar showcasing the paintings that he made while shooting the film and talking about what inspired them.

    A Trailer for the film and a Magnolia promo reel is also included.

    The Final Word:

    There are many films that exemplify style over substance, and while The Lady In The Car With Glasses and a Gun has some memorable sequences, they don't add up to anything worthwhile.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Can't argue with anything you said accept that I did find the experience worthwhile. I'm glad the film took the time to adequately explain just what the hell was going on but the way it was presented is disappointing. However, that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the previous 80 minutes. It was unique and intriguing. I could even see revisiting this film again in a few years. That said, I completely understand why some might leave this film unsatisfied.

      Enjoyed the review, thanks
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I'll have to go and reread my review, haha. I don't remember this one.