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"; released in some English-speaking territories as Pot Luck or The Spanish Apartment) is a 2002 French-Spanish film directed and written by Cédric Klapisch. It is a co-production between Spain (Mate Producciones S.A., Via Digital) and France (BAC Films, Ce qui me meut, France 2 Cinéma, Studio Canal).
It is about Xavier (actor Romain Duris), an economics graduate student studying for a year in Barcelona, Spain as part of the Erasmus programme, where he encounters and learns from a group of students who hail from all over Western Europe. It is the first part of the self-titled "Spanish Apartment Trilogy" of films centered on the character of Xavier and his progression from student to family man and friends he initially encounters in a student share-house in Spain.
The film's portrayal is in the first-person perspective of the main character, Xavier, and is hence mainly narrated 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, leaves his country for the ERASMUS programme in Barcelona as part of his professional pursuits, despite it being against the wishes of his girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou). On the flight there, he meets a young French couple, a doctor and his wife (Anne-Sophie), who let him stay in their home while he searches for an apartment. Xavier manages to find an apartment with other students from England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, creating an ambiance of chaos and culture shock. The roommates begin to develop a unique companionship as they struggle together through their cultural and linguistic challenges in their program. Martine pays Xavier a visit and returns disappointed when she realizes things are not the same. Meanwhile, Xavier develops a romantic affair with the French doctor's wife, seducing her using tips he has been learning from his Belgian lesbian roommate, Isabelle (Cécile de France). The English roommate Wendy's brother William visits for some time and turns out to be quite abrasive with his culturally insensitive comments, creating tension among the roommates. Martine eventually breaks up with Xavier, bringing him to depression and hallucinations. When Xavier seeks the French doctor's advice, the doctor reveals that Anne-Sophie confessed everything to him, and tells Xavier to stop seeing her. As discord among the roommates escalates, their friendship is repaired as they team up to help Wendy elude a sticky situation (her boyfriend Alister makes a surprise visit while she was hooking up with an American). After leaving Barcelona and bidding farewell to his many close friends, Xavier returns to Paris and gets the job at the Ministry, but realizes he misses his experiences that now have made him a different person. 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 (originally, an inn so suspect that guests were advised to bring their own food and drink) 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, since 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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- "L'Auberge espagnole - Cinémathèque française" (in French). La Bibliothèque du film. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
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- "L'Auberge Espagnole reviews". Metacritic.