On Tour (2010) Poster

(2010)

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7/10
Between burlesque and squalor, a sad and bitter portrait of a failed man
yris200220 March 2011
Sustained by a steady direction and a camera that moves confidently to capture every single, significant twinkle, the result is a dry, harsh movie, always carefully focused. The environment is that of squalid burlesque shows, with ageing and decadent women, selling old-fashioned and sad shows, in anonymous theatres of anonymous French towns. Their daily routine is sad, the contrast between the excess of their shows and the nothingness of their real lives sounds depressing. They are taken on tour around an absent France by Joachim, a former TV producer, who abandoned by everyone, now makes a living by finding a suitable theatre for their performances, in a way using them in order to come back to Paris as the successful man he'll never be. All these women feel alive only when on stage, where they can play the game of seduction and forget the sadness looming over their lives, with no family, no relationships, no roots. Joachim's character is a living failure, to the point that those women become his only family, more than his own children. A decadent and depressing humanity, depicted with mercilessness but also inspiring compassion. The cast, made up of real new burlesque performers, proves indeed authentic and capable of conveying pathos. In particular Mathieu Amalric as Joachim delivers a strong and emotionally involving performance, which goes hand in hand with his skillful direction.
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Glorious dramedy from Frech Super-Star Amalric
Dawn_Assayas25 October 2010
I loved this film. This glorious film is moving and hilarious by turns as it narrates the misadventures of a troop of five aging American burlesque dancers(they are actual strippers all making their motion picture debut) and their acerbic manager (Amalric in perhaps the performance of his career) as they tour France with their risqué show.

The dialogue which includes English spoken around the 5 American performers and French for the rest of the characters is realistic and witty. The screenplay is very loose and allows for lots of digressing interludes which are endearing. There are many burlesque acts shown in full in the movie and they are very entertaining.

The movie is bawdy with the dancers often behaving in a loud crass way and of course there's plenty of nudity, on stage and off stage, but the entire film and its performances are just so genial and ingratiating that you can't help but have a good time at the cinemas.

ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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8/10
Entertaining mess
jimharvey8711 February 2011
To many, Mathieu Amalric was the bad guy in Quantum of Solace (Marc Forster, 2008), but most familiar with his name will recall his outstanding portrayal of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007). Small parts in Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005) and Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006) support the idea that Amalric's bound to have made it – to some extent – in Hollywood by now. This may be the source of the trashy and (at times) visceral swipes at the American culture, that fuel much of his first internationally distributed feature On Tour.

Joachim (Amalric) invites a group of burlesque dancers are over from the States to tour with him around his homeland, whereby they are promised an almighty, star-spangled crescendo in Paris. These women are all shapes and sizes: 'real women' we're often told to imagine in the media backlash against stick-thin-supermodels. The performances within certainly feel real. Amalric's camera seems to be a claustrophobic one, that never shys away from the lines and creases of these performers (perhaps an idea carried over from his Diving Bell... role). And yet he knows when to back off and let the audience take their place amongst the paying spectators in his fictional theatre. At best, the viewer is awestruck at the harmonisation of vulgarity of spectacle and beauty (epitomised in Julie Atlas Muz's 'moonhead' dance).

Fellini comparisons are understandable: the film is rife with references to La Strada (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960), and most notably 8 ½ (1963). We meander from one place to another, meeting past and future conquests, and picking up plot lines along the way. They're never just dropped though, and the intensity and style Amalric offers strikingly well in acting is carried through into his filmmaking. What at first seem like transparent, garish, has-been beauties, do in fact transform into characters worthy of understanding, to the extent that Mimi le Meaux (Miranda Colclasure) becomes as much the protagonist as Amalric by half-way. This owes much to the documentary style of the film, whereby the viewer is omniscient throughout. We're there for the warm-up, the laziness, the meals, the performance, the disappointing cubicle sex. The omniscient spectator is granted access to everything. Make of it what we will. Amalric directs and stars, and his acting is thoroughly melodramatic too, as he battles to be part of the limelight we find out he's recently lost due to his tearaway instincts – in this way he very much resembles the Mastroianni of Fellini. But these women who want the limelight ("this is our show" he's constantly reminded) disrupt the chances of him ever running the show. Amalric, in a very roundabout way – like Boyle in 127 Hours (2010) - seems to be highlighting the impossibility of going it alone.

The film is a mess. But an entertaining mess. In context, it wouldn't make sense any other way.
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10/10
Great Insight BEHIND the Burlesque Scene
god_like_alex15 August 2011
A great movie that shows true feelings of very special people in their life where you can see in great close-ups that they have lived quite a lot. A mix between inter cultural differences (american/french) and show time entertainment. Fun girls in a hard life and a great male protagonist who fights his career- and family-disaster and who is impossible to read. The view from behind the curtain towards the audience shows you the view of the smiling actors behind the scene. Clever running gags and emotional characterizing of the people and cultures in focus gave me something to think about before going to sleep. Loved it for being perfectly different!
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7/10
Tour de Fierce
writers_reign12 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It's perhaps fitting that in some respects this film resembles When The Sea Rises. Both were the work of fine actors who also appeared - Yoland Moreau and Mathiew Amlaric - and both centre on performers touring France although in the case of Moreau it was a one-woman show whilst Amlaric oversees a troupe of five ageing strippers. Both are fine films suffused with melancholy and would make for a fascinating double bill.Amlaric has a sure-footed approach to directing as he has shown in previous attempts and he contrives to capture a full spectrum of moods and emotions both from the troupe and himself as their seedy promoter manque. All in all a worthy effort and well worth seeing.
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3/10
Trailer is better than the movie.
luciok-601-21074018 April 2011
In my private opinion, it's one case that the trailer have ALL the good scenes of the movie. The impression is the original intention it was create sketches, improvising, in a "documentary" style, but it didn't work. My impression was the movie is a a bunch of situations that hardly interact with each other. Many times they do not make sense, looking like a desperate attempt to "avoid clichés", with unexpected reactions, but it didn't work, the result is not coherent.

I love french movies, the subject - burlesque performers - is very interesting, but this one was very disappointing.

(sorry for my English, is not my mother language)
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2/10
Never-ending, pointless and dull
preppy-320 June 2011
Saw this at the Provincetown film festival. Wished I hadn't. Supposedly this was supposed to be a film about a burlesque shown written for women and performed by women. We get precious little of any of the acts though. It turns into a depressing and boring character study of the manager of the group--Joachim Zand (Mathieu Amalric). There isn't much of a story--it's just little episodes all scrambled together with little rhyme or reason. Joachim is an extremely annoying character--constantly chain smoking and letting people push him around because he's given up on life. Who wants to spend two hours watching someone like that? The actresses are all charming but given next to no screen time. If the movie had focused on them it might have worked. As it stands it's too slow and dreary.
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