As anachronistic as A Paris Education may seem (a running time of 136 minutes doesn’t always help matters, either), there’s a conviction to the storytelling that can’t be denied, and no matter what your tastes are, it’s hard not to be moved by Etienne’s struggle to find his voice amid so much doubt and disillusion.
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Whether or not the thought of following a self-absorbed wannabe filmmaker for 136 minutes has you buzzing with excitement, A Paris Education is a wonderfully anachronistic homage to a timeless, New Wave-style world filled with cinephiles, lovers, and great films. It’s a universe as self-centered as it is endlessly fascinating.
The shaded black-and-white cinematography and the dialectical romances mimic the styles and moods of nineteen-seventies French classics without their intimacy, rage, or historical scope.
Mr. Civeyrac leads Étienne into anxious imitations of the past, and the possibility of making art fueled by the present never materializes.