French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cédric Klapisch|
|Produced by||Bruno Levy|
|Written by||Cédric Klapisch|
|Edited by||Francine Sandberg|
|Distributed by||Mars Distribution (France)
Filmax International (Spain)
|17 May 2002|
|Box office||$31 million|
L'Auberge Espagnole (/ , - -/; literally: "the Spanish inn"), also known as Pot Luck (UK) and The Spanish Apartment (Australia), is a 2002 French-Spanish film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is a co-production of Mate Producciones S.A., Via Digital, BAC Films, Ce qui me meut, France 2 Cinéma and Studio Canal).
The movie is about an economics graduate student studying for a year in Barcelona, Spain, as part of the Erasmus programme, where he learns from a group of students from all over Western Europe in a student share-house.
The film is told in the first-person perspective of the main character, Xavier, and is mainly in French. Some of the dialogue is in English and a significant amount is in Spanish, as well as small amounts in Catalan, Danish, German and Italian.
Xavier (Romain Duris), a 24-year-old French student, attends the ERASMUS programme in Barcelona as part of his professional pursuits against the wishes of his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou). On the flight there, he meets a French doctor and his wife, who let him stay in their home while he searches for an apartment. Xavier finds space in an apartment with other students from England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, creating an ambiance of chaos and culture shock.
The roommates develop a unique companionship as they struggle together through their cultural and linguistic challenges. Martine visits Xavier and returns disappointed when she realizes things are not the same. Xavier begins an affair with the French doctor's wife, using seduction tips learned from Isabelle (Cécile de France), his lesbian roommate from Belgium. William arrives from England to visit his sister Wendy and creates tension with his abrasive manner and culturally insensitive comments.
Xavier becomes deeply depressed and hallucinates after Martine breaks up with him. When he seeks the French doctor's advice, the doctor reveals that his wife confessed everything to him. He demands that Xavier stop seeing her.
Discord divides the roommates, but they come together to aid Wendy, who was caught by her boyfriend in a romantic encounter with an American.
After bidding farewell to his new close friends, Xavier returns to Paris and gets his desired job at the ministry, but realizes that his experiences in Spain have changed him. He subsequently runs away on his first day on the job and pursues his dream to become a writer, recounting the story of his experiences in the Auberge Espagnole.
- Romain Duris as Xavier
- Barnaby Metschurat as Tobias
- Judith Godrèche as Anne-Sophie
- Cécile de France as Isabelle
- Kelly Reilly as Wendy
- Audrey Tautou as Martine
- Cristina Brondo as Soledad
- Kevin Bishop as William
- Wladimir Yordanoff as Jean-Charles Perrin
- Federico D'Anna as Alessandro
- Christian Pagh as Lars
- Zinedine Soualem as Barman
Meaning of the title
The phrase auberge espagnole literally means "Spanish inn" or "Spanish hostel". It is a French idiomatic expression originally referring to a place where you can only eat what you bring and by extension, a place or situation where you only find what you brought. A second, more neutrally connoted and recent interpretation of the phrase is a dinner diversified by the fact that each guest has contributed some part of the meal; this suggests the English-language idea of a "potluck," earning the film this title in some English-speaking areas. A third meaning of auberge espagnole is a common resting area for travelers from a variety of different cultures and regions. The more direct translation as "The Spanish Apartment" is also playing on the French phrase because the main characters are all literally sharing an apartment in Spain.
L'Auberge Espagnole features a diverse soundtrack, which includes:
- Radiohead - "No Surprises"
- Daft Punk - "Aerodynamic"
- Sonia & Selena - "Que Viva La Noche"
- Marc-Antoine Charpentier - "Te Deum"
- Ali Farka Touré - "Ai Du"
- Frédéric Chopin - "Opus 64 No 2 Waltz in C sharp minor"
- Africando All Stars - "Betece"
- Mala Rodriguez - "La Cocinera"
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 77%, based on 91 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This multicultural comedy captures the chaos and excitement of being young." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Brisbane International Film Festival||Audience Award||Won|
|César Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Director||Cédric Klapisch||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Judith Godrèche||Nominated|
|Most Promising Actress||Cécile de France||Won|
|Best Writing||Cédric Klapisch||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Francine Sandberg||Nominated|
|European Film Awards||People's Choice Award for Best European Film||Nominated|
|Karlovy Vary International Film Festival||Audience Award||Won|
|Lumières Awards||Best Screenplay||Cédric Klapisch||Won|
|Most Promising Actress||Cécile de France||Won|
|Sydney Film Festival||Audience Award||Won|
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
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