When the Cat's Away
In When the Cat’s Away, Chloe, a wispy, melancholic young Parisian woman (Garance Clavel) parks her kitty, Gris-Gris, with a cat-collecting old lady (Renee Le Calm) while she goes on vacation. When she returns, Gris-Gris is missing. And as timid Chloe ventures out to find him, she begins, by tiny increments, to shake those wan single-girl blues. Filmmaker Cedric Klapisch’s gentle, observant film has an improvisatory feel (the old cat lady is the real thing, as are many of the other eccentric characters who make nonprofessional appearances as themselves). But the casually assembled scenes of a less-than-chic neighborhood in transition add up to a compassionate sketch of gentrification a la francais. In this Paris, demolition is always in progress, cranes are omnipresent, gay residents cross paths with immigrant newcomers, and boutique entrepreneurs threaten the natural habitats of old cat ladies as charmingly chatty and opinionated as Monty Python players in drag. B
When the Cat's Away...