(The Spanish Apartment)
Romain Duris, Judith Godreche, Audrey Tautou
Fox Home Entertainment
Date: December 23, 2003
Review posted: January 7, 2004
is a straight-laced French college
senior who moves to Barcelona
as part of a student
exchange program, much to the
dismay of his beautiful girlfriend Martine (Tautou). But
sharing cramped quarters with students from all over Europe
quickly leads to multi-cultural
chaos as Xavier gets
a hilarious, eye-opening lesson on
how to live, love, laugh...
films I watch are from France. Some of them are very good and
showcase the talents of the filmmakers. The latest example is
Cédric Klapisch and
his semi coming-of-age story entitled L'Auberge Espagnole,
the title translates into The Spanish Apartment.
Klapisch's script takes the point of view of a Parisian college
student as he explores new places, sexuality, the values of
friendship, and city adventure. The actor playing the role is
Romain Duris. He gives a somewhat subtle performance at the
beginning of the film, yet Duris adapts as the character becomes
more familiar with his surroundings and makes new friends,
creating a natural performance. He is joined by a variety of
actors from different countries, including England, Germany and
Spain. In fact, all of the actors give natural and good
L'Auberge Espagnole is not
just about performances, but also about the progression of the
story. The script goes into cool subjects and places; it
explores life in a new place where much of what one knows is
different. Seeing as how I'm the same age as the characters in
the film I related to the story in a big way. After seeing the
film I felt like doing the same thing, namely taking part in a
student exchange program and experience life in a city like
London or Paris. To put it simply, I enjoyed this film a lot. I
laughed with and felt for the characters. The only aside I could
make out is a handful of scenes appeared to be more episodic
than following narrative drama. In summation, L'Auberge
Espagnole is genuine and funny experience. Check it out.
L'Auberge Espagnole in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen on side
reference, side A
contains the film in fullscreen format. Director
Cédric Klapisch shot the film in high definition video so the
quality is not as distinguished as in film. The picture looks
decent, but sometimes a bit soft. Much of the print looks very
good, except for some minor specks and grain. Minor edge
enhancement shows up in several exterior scenes, but sharpness
and detail look good. Compression artifacts do not appear.
Colors are well-saturated and warm, although reds look partially
muddy. As a whole, Fox's presentation looks just fine.
L'Auberge Espagnole in French 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
The film features a lot of different languages, which is where
the English subtitles come in. Dialogue is clear and easy to
understand. The soundtrack doesn't show a lot of action, but the
surrounds come in handy quite nicely during the film's exteriors
and cool songs. There's some good punch here, such as the sound
effects giving off nice ambience creating a welcome experience.
Yet the rear speakers only come alive during certain spots, most
of the audio is located in the front. Overall, it's a nice
A Spanish Dolby Surround dub is
There is nothing here. Absolutely
nothing! Not even a trailer or two. A 20-minute making-of exists
somewhere out there, it is credited on IMDB, but Fox chose not
to include it here. Perhaps this was due to budgetary reasons
since the featurette probably needed subtitles, but it's not
like the studio is shorthanded in money. Whatever the reason is,
this release is disappointing.
select to view the film with optional English and Spanish subtitles. The
122-minute feature is organized into
twenty-eight chapters. A paper insert lists scene selections.
is funny, original, smart and charming. The cast is a blast, the
location is extravagant, and the characters are interesting. So
it shouldn't come as a surprise then that this is a very
enjoyable film. Fox's video/audio quality is good. Despite the
abundance of even one bonus material, I recommend a rental for
the sake of the film. Have fun.
(not an average)