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:: Orchestra Seats (Avenue Montaigne)

If you want to be transferred to the magical, high-class and luxurious world of Paris for a couple of hours – then ‘Orchestra Seats’ is the perfect movie for you. The delightful journey you are taken on with Jessica (Cécile de France) is not a deep or insightful film - but is an interesting and light hearted look into the lives of many charming characters that float in and out of an intriguing theatre in Paris.

Jessica (in many ways the key character to the story) was brought up by her bubbly grandma, a former five-star hotel lavatory attendant, who likes to remind her over and over again “I didn’t have the means to live in luxury, so I decided to work in it instead.” With this thought in her head - Jessica scores a job in a bar across the road from two theatres, where she forms accidental friendships with some fascinating people whose lives revolve around art, opera and classical music.

Bar des Theatres on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne is a somewhat exclusive establishment that traditionally never hires women, yet the manager is desperate to hire someone as two staff are sick and the story is kicked off from there. Caught up in this exciting ‘high class’ life of music and fashion, Jessica meets Catherine, a famous TV star rehearsing for a play at the theatre. Catherine is self-centred, bossy, and has bipolar – but also has a craziness to her the audience will warm to. She has a busy schedule filming her day time soup and practicing for the play – but we soon learn she wants to be a movie star too and will do anything she can to score and interview with visiting American director Brian Sobinski who is casting for a film about Simone de Beauvoir.

Through Jessica we are also introduced to Jean-Francois, who is clearly exhausted by his life as a famous pianist and busy concert schedule. Jean-Francois’ wife can’t understand why he desperately longs to give his life up as a concert pianist and play for charity to sick people.

Frederic Grumberg is also an interesting character, who has spent his life and money collecting some of the world’s most famous art pieces. Worth millions of dollars, Frederic’s son can’t understand why his father now wants to auction off all this wonderful art work and does not like the fact that he is dating a much younger woman called Valerie.

Much like the story-line for a ‘day-time’ soap episode itself - the lives of these characters are slowly intertwined as we are gradually told more about their desires and ambitions in life – which in most cases are not being filled. Jessica’s ability to take life as it comes – helps many of the characters to realise what they want to do in life.

The concept behind the film was – in life just like in the theater, you often think you’d be better off sitting somewhere else. Moving closer and closer to get a better view, you often realise that you can never be satisfied. The moral of the story being – take a different view of life and be happy with what you have.

Although ‘Orchestra Seats’ will not take you on a deep journey, it will take you on a fairy-tale like ride that most viewers will find a pleasant and surprising watch.