Footnotes Poster

LA LA LAND for Shoes, That’s FOOTNOTES Plus a Social Message

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Damien Chazelle should be thrilled that his movie LA LA LAND has joined the serious ranks of American films that have opened up global audiences to a renewed appreciation of singing and dancing films. The proof? French film FOOTNOTES, originally titled “Sur Quel Pied Danser,” that “opens” on VOD, Tues. Sept. 19. Although the press notes assure all that its inspiration comes from the movies of Jacques Demy and Stanley Donen of “Singing in The Rain” fame, you’ll be tempted to add Chazelle to what influenced this quirky movie.

FOOTNOTES was actually made before LA LA LAND, although without the smash success of Chazelle’s movie, this one would have a hard time finding an audience. Even harder since this footwear all-singing, all-dancing saga is a message movie.


What’s the message? FOOTNOTES is so floaty and campy, you’ll have to see it yourself, but basically it’s about job security in the age of outsourcing.

That and the usual “don’t hate your life, follow your dreams.”

But woven in here is a power similar to LA LA LAND’s ability to elevate ordinary lives into something extraordinary. Except, since this is coming out of France, the Socialist sleight of hand swaps Tinseltown for shoe business with Pauline Etienne as Julie, our fleet-footed heroine.

She’s not Emma Stone, but she has an authentic off-center, human (non-actory) quality in common with her American counterpart.

The way Monument Releasing describes this film is priceless because it puts a glossy spin on essentially a factory worker walk-out that would only be a drama in America.
“Julie (is) a young woman struggling to make ends meet in France’s radically changing economy. Living out of a backpack, Julie spends her days jumping from job to job until she’s finally offered a temporary stockroom position at a women’s luxury shoe factory. After making friends with the boss’s spunky receptionist Sophie and the ever-charming factory truck driver Samy, Julie thinks the hard times are behind her. But Julie’s dreams of stability collapse when management threatens to close down the factory. As her intrepid group of female colleagues get together to go on strike, Samy and the other truck drivers decide to side with the company’s scheming CEO. Julie must choose whether to keep a low profile (and a shot at permanent employment) or to resist and fight back on the picket line.”
There’s major shoe porn throughout this whole protest-driven, fair-employment plot. Opera pumps, mules, shiny flats, slip-ons, skids, sneakers, loafers, stilettoes, made of nubuck, crocodile, suede, patent leather, you name it. Even when the picketers shack up in tents, they vow to solve their problems in magical red shoes, hand-made women’s oxfords. Yet, it’s about a labor dispute whereby all these workers will be replaced by their cheaper Chinese counterparts. A global message really, with hot relevancy and a Kali, the many-armed Indian goddess, look to the official poster.

Footnotes Poster

But this isn’t NORMA RAE, the 1979 Sally Field starrer where she fights for her rights, nor is it a labor party anthem. It’s kind of a coming-of-age story through the lens of a Chazelle sensibility, a worldview that underscores how everyday life is our life, and how even being stuck in a wrong job or on a picket line or in a life rut is really the exciting plot of our lives. Add a little singing and carefully choreographed sashaying in street clothes — and you’re in a post-Studio Musical, musical.
As this movie foreshadows LA LA LAND, it also plays with its own ending in the unresolved-resolve. Without giving FOOTNOTES away, it’s a movie to watch on many different levels. It’s a diversion, and a parallel universe escape hatch from work where labor disputes can even have a melody written for the strife.
Watch FOOTNOTES Sept. 19 on most major platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators.

Catch a Glimpse in Advance…


FOOTNOTES Helmer & Cast
Directed by: Paul Calori and Kostia Testut
Starring: Pauline Etienne, Olivier Chantreau, François Morel, Loïc Corbery
and Julie Victor

Official Selection of Palm Springs International Film Festival, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, Filmfest DC and many more; visit the French Allocine site here.

Opens on VOD Nationwide on Tuesday, Sept. 19 on all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators.

France, 85 Minutes, In French with English Subtitles

# # #


Crazy Little Thing Called DOWNSIZING from Payne with Damon, Wiig, Waltz & Hong Chau

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

For everybody who loved the DESCENDANTS with George Clooney, but thought it was too sad, or loved SIDEWAYS with Paul Giamatt but not that comedic mean streak of Alexander Payne, here comes something to really love.

It’s called DOWNSIZING from Paramount, directed by Payne and co-written with Jim Taylor. This new comedy stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau from INHERENT VICE.

If it sounds like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” it’s not. Actually everything gets fractionalized here. The tagline is “a big world is waiting.”

Unlike Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” this is a more practical approach to world over-population. Imagine everything at 5 inches to say 72 inch scale, or way smaller than you are right now.

But don’t get lost in the math or dubious physics of this movie, because the miniaturized world looks spectacular. And it’s a fantastic alternative to Agenda 21, the alleged United Nations plan for depopulating the earth. (What? Google it up. Scary.)

But First a Tiny Peak at DOWNSIZING

Meanwhile, it’s a small world after all in Alexander Payne’s brilliant rendition of what happens when big ideas turn regular-sized people into scale-model minds on a grand tableau.


DOWNSIZING just unspooled this week at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), plus these photos prove the great cast chemistry.

Paramount’s Official Small Print on This Movie

Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsizedcommunity — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.

A big world may be waiting, but everyone was their Actual Size at TIFF.

Directed by: Alexander Payne

Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig

Written by: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor

Produced by: Mark Johnson, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor.


Facebook: /DownsizingFilm

Twitter: @DownsizingFilm, Instagram: @Downsizing, (refers to Facebook)

DOWNSIZING is in theaters December 22, “a big world is waiting.” See you in five inches. Hashtag? #Downsizing.

# # #


DADDY’S HOME 2: Mel’s Like Team Spirit, That’s Gibson, Wahlberg, Ferrell & Lithgow

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Mel Gibson comes back from traffic court, lol, okay too soon. Mulligan. Mel Gibson comes back from his Hollywood resurrection this year with his six-pack Oscar-nominated movie HACKSAW RIDGE (2016), that won two Oscars for sound mixing and editing, to join son of anarchy Mark Wahlberg and deviant nice guy Will Ferrell in DADDY’S HOME 2, their hit franchise reteam.


But he’s not alone in the father-figure star power value-add. Beloved veteran actor John Lithgow joins the onscreen DNA party too. And there’s sidekick John Cena, who recently made a heartfelt video that truly inspires people to ‘never give up,’ and even makes you forget who the sponsor is, seriously.  So, expect the best here as this foursome looks promising plot-wise.


This movie drops Nov. 10 from Paramount, but it’s never too soon to get a good laugh at the Old Man’s expense, even if it’s just an onscreen version of Pops. Because? “This November, it’s every daddy for himself,” as the studio teases the trailer.

Here’s a Look Into DADDY’S HOME 2

Paramount Puts It This Way…

In the sequel to the 2015 global smash, father and stepfather, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho Dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s ultra-affectionate and emotional Dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.


Directed by: Sean Anders
Star Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, John Lithgow & Mel Gibson

DADDY’S HOME 2 – Not Love But Social Handles
Facebook: /daddyshomemovie
Twitter: @daddyshome
Instagram: @daddyshomemovie

Again, DADDY’s HOME 2 is in theaters November 10 from Paramount.

# # #