French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cédric Klapisch|
|Produced by||Bruno Levy|
|Written by||Cédric Klapisch|
|Music by||Various Artists|
|Edited by||Francine Sandberg|
|Distributed by||Mars Distribution (France)|
|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 (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 over, 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 with tips he has been learning from his Belge lesbian roommate. 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, he reveals that Anne-Sophie told him everything and tells him to stop seeing her. As the discordance 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 make him a different person. He subsequently runs away on his first day 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
- 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"
Awards and nominations
- César Award for Best Film
- César Award for Best Director — Cédric Klapisch
- César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role — Judith Godrèche
- César Award for Best Writing — Cédric Klapisch
- César Award for Best Editing — Francine Sandberg
- "L'Auberge Espagnole". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "L'Auberge espagnole - Cinémathèque française" (in French). La Bibliothèque du film. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- lefigaro.fr (2012-09-11). "Cédric Klapisch tourne Casse-tête chinois à New York". Le Figaro. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- Aline Angoustures (2004). L'Espagne. Le Cavalier Bleu. p. 117. ISBN 978-2-84670-078-8.
- Planelles, Georges (2013). "Une auberge espagnole". Expressio.fr.
- L'Auberge Espagnole at the Internet Movie Database
- L'Auberge Espagnole at Box Office Mojo
- L'Auberge Espagnole at Rotten Tomatoes
- L'Auberge Espagnole at Metacritic