Synopsis by Mark Deming
Twenty acclaimed filmmakers from around the world look at love in the City of Lights in this omnibus feature. Paris, Je T'Aime features 18 short stories, each set in a different part of Paris and each featuring a different cast and director (two segments were produced by two filmmakers in collaboration). In "Faubourg Saint-Denis," Tom Tykwer directs Natalie Portman as an American actress who is the object of affection for a blind student (Melchior Belson). Christopher Doyle's "Porte de Choisy" follows a salesman (Barbet Schroeder) as he tries to pitch beauty aids in Chinatown. Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier are father and daughter in "Parc Monceau" from Alfonso Cuarón. Animator Sylvain Chomet turns his eye to a pair of living, breathing mimes in "Tour Eiffel." An interracial romance in France is offered by Gurinder Chadha in "Quais de Seine." In "Le Marais" from Gus Van Sant, a man (Gaspard Ulliel) finds himself falling for a handsome gent (Elias McConnell) who works in a print shop. Isabel Coixet tells the tale of a man (Sergio Castellitto) who is making his final choice between his wife (Miranda Richardson) and his lover (Leonor Watling) in "Bastille." Juliette Binoche plays a grieving mother in Nobuhiro Suwa's "Place des Victoires," in which she's greeted by a spectral cowboy (Willem Dafoe). Richard LaGravanese's "Pigalle" finds a long-married man (Bob Hoskins) turning to a prostitute for advice on pleasing his wife (Fanny Ardant). Gérard Depardieu and Frédéric Auburtin direct Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara as longtime marrieds meeting for one final pre-divorce encounter in "Quartier Latin." Steve Buscemi learns a lesson about local etiquette in the Paris Metro in "Tuileries" from Joel and Ethan Coen. In "Loin du 16ème" by Walter Salles, a housekeeper (Catalina Sandino Moreno) longs for her own child as she tends to the infant of her wealthy employer. Elijah Wood stars in "Quartier de la Madeleine," a vampire tale from Vincenzo Natali. Wes Craven presents another fantasy in "Père-Lachaise," in which an engaged young man (Rufus Sewell) receives romantic advice from the spirit of Oscar Wilde (Alex Payne). A postal worker from Colorado (Margo Martindale) shares her thoughts on her visit to Paris in mangled French in Alexander Payne's witty "14th Arrondissement." Other segments include "Place des Fêtes" from Oliver Schmitz, Bruno Podalydès' "Montmartre," and "Quartier des Enfants Rouges" by Olivier Assayas, which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal. Paris, Je T'Aime received its world premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.