Monsieur Ibrahim

(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

     You have to keep going to see the little films because every once in awhile among the many depressing stereotypical Indie films like The United States of Leland, is a gem such as The Station Agent. Monsieur Ibrahim is also a little gem.  This is a really sweet movie. And, it stars Omar Sharif! I couldn't tell you the last movie I saw Omar Sharif in. But he is still wonderful. In Monsieur Ibrahim, he plays the title character, an elderly but spry Turkish man who runs a corner shop in Paris. He befriends a teenage boy (Pierre Boulanger) who is always shoplifting food. The boy is on his own most of the time.  His mother has left and his father works long hours. They live in the red-light district and Boulanger spends a lot of time hanging out with the prostitutes, trying to get them to take him on as a client. Sharif becomes a surrogate father to the boy. After Boulanger's father also leaves, he and Sharif set off together on a journey back to Turkey.

    Monsieur Ibrahim is a French film, in French with subtitles.  Sharif is from Egypt originally and speaks French as well as English, Arabic and Greek. He is joy to watch in this movie and still has that attractive quality that he showed in movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and one of my favorite obscure movies, The Night of the Generals. Sharif may be 72 years old but he still has "it". His character has a great joie de vivre that comes through the screen. But, Monsieur Ibrahim wouldn't work if Sharif's co-star, Boulanger weren't excellent as well. This is his first film and he is amazing. He has a Sharif-like attractiveness which makes you believe that Sharif can see himself in the young boy.  They have a great chemistry together.  The film, set in 1960's Paris has a nice energy and the director, François Dupeyron, keeps the story moving right along.  And Monsieur Ibrahim clocks in at only 94 minutes so you are left wanting more. Monsieur Ibrahim has been around for a while but it's just going into wider release. If it's playing where you are, go and see it. If not, the DVD will be out in July.