November 30, 2021

“Lovers”, “Memoria”, “Blood oranges”… The films to see (or not) this week

♥♥♥ Lovers

French drama, by Nicole Garcia, with Pierre Niney, Stacy Martin, Benoît Magimel (1h42).

They are two young people barely out of adolescence. Lisa is a student, Simon traffics a little hash. They love each other, but everything comes at a price: suddenly threatened with imprisonment, Simon flees to the other side of the world, alone. The years go by. One day, in a luxury hotel, he sees Lisa, now married, and passion flares up again… Nicole Garcia and her screenwriter Jacques Fieschi (“Un balcon sur la mer”, “Un beau dimanche”, “Mal de pierre” ) love these broken destinies, these characters on edge, these flows of love, these moments of a never-dead past.

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Nicole Garcia, actress, crossed with grace, and a touch of madness, the films of Claude Sautet, Michel Deville, Claude Miller and Jean-Paul Rappeneau. She gleaned little touches, human moments, lost souls. And returned to a classic cinema, led by the characters and by the zeitgeist. She is, in a way, the heir to the poetic realism of the years in black and white.

Nicole Garcia: “I found my freedom behind the camera”

Here, the gap between Paris (where the film begins) and the Indian Ocean (where the lovers meet) also symbolizes the fate of Lisa, torn between two men. Between two genres, too. It all begins as a small intimate theater and ends with a thriller invaded by tragic obscurity. It is that the actors, directed by Nicole Garcia, bring their characters to the incandescence: desire, jealousy, guilt, revolt, animate them and carbonize them. Pierre Niney, former resident of the Comédie-Française, instills an uneasy fragility; Benoît Magimel, all in authority and silence, carries the storm within him; and Stacy Martin, literally, has two loves and feels that her life is leaking like a dripping faucet …

There is, in Nicole Garcia’s film, a romantic conviction, a pleasure in kneading this human paste. Money, obviously, plays a role of social marker, but also of visa. Pierre Niney paddles, Benoît Magimel has money, two worlds oppose each other, in the end, in a Switzerland where everything is combed, neat, pampered. It is under this surface of calm that a mediocre plot is formed, which will not solve anything, but which makes the heart beat faster. “Lovers”, basically, is the modern version of the trio of tragic lovers, a trio whose resources were thought to have been exhausted. Nicole Garcia gives it new life, with a palpable electricity. Supercharged cinema? Yes, like love. Francois Forestier

♥♥♥ Memory

Colombian-Thai fantasy drama, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, with Tilda Swinton, Elkin Diaz, Jeanne Balibar (2h16).

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Haunted by a recurring noise, a sort of muffled explosion, which she alone hears, a botanist, exiled in Colombia, seeks its origin in the Amazon rainforest. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s unique cinema easily calls for sleep. Dozing off is not contrary to its magic and may allow you to access one of the levels of consciousness it is targeting. Cantor of the intangible, invisible presences and unknown lives, the Thai director and plastic artist, Palme d’Or in 2010 for “Uncle Boonmee…”, films Tilda Swinton like a wandering soul among ghosts and the memory of a country foreigner. The hypnotic journey requires letting go and leaves the viewer in a trance. Bewitched or dead of boredom. Nicolas Schaller

Cannes 2021: “Memoria”, a waking dream

♥♥♥ Blood oranges

French comedy, by Jean-Christophe Meurisse, with Denis Podalydès, Alexandre Steiger, Christophe Paou, Blanche Gardin (1h42).

It’s squeaky, raspy, cheerful, and it doesn’t look like anything or anyone. Several cynical stories intersect: a couple in their sixties try to win a rock contest, a minister will fall between the legs of a madman and a teenager discovers life, horrible side … Jean-Christophe Meurisse, founder of the troupe theater Les Chiens de Navarre, lets loose. We are somewhere between the humor of “Hara-Kiri” and the look of the Coen brothers. The coolest thing is the scene we dream of, and that no one has dared to stage, until then: seeing the little teen castrate her rapist and make him eat his microwaved testicles. French society is painted with a knife, and it’s bleeding. F. F.

Jean-Christophe Meurisse: “The role of cinema is to show evil”

♥♥♥ Magnetics

French dramatic comedy, by Vincent Maël Cardona, with Thimotée Robart, Marie Colomb, Joseph Olivennes (1h38).

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1981. Philippe, a self-effacing audiophile, dreams of somewhere between his father’s garage and the punk-rock show he produces on a pirate radio with his big brother, an eternal rebel whose new girlfriend is named Marianne. And God how pretty Marianne is! “The disease of youth is not knowing what it wants but wanting it at all costs. “ And the talent of Vincent Maël Cardona is to film it so well. So much goes through this formidable first film: the hopes of the Mitterrand generation, the boredom of a provincial village, the flame of our 20 years. The soundtrack drops (Undertones, Turquoise Days), the voiceover sounds like a confession to a deceased friend and the actors are all revelations (Marie Colomb, remember that name). « Les Magnétiques ”has the grace of ephemeral joys and the melancholy of tomorrows which (dis) sing. N. S.

IT SPEAKS

♥♥ Django

Western Italian, by Sergio Corbucci, with Franco Nero, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak (1:37, 1966).

It’s spaghetti western, and the best. Django the lonely guns bandits who torture a woman, finds himself in the midst of a revolutionary war, walks with a machine gun hidden in a coffin, steals a load of gold and so on. Sergio Corbucci does in the Grand Guignol and the pastiche, with euphoria. A great supplier of nanars (“Maciste against the ghost”, “Romulus and Rémus”), he has also been able to divert the codes of the western with talent (“the Great Silence”) and humor. “Django”, admired and repeated by Tarantino, is one of his successes. Kitsch and fun. F. F.

♥ We are made to get along

French comedy, by Pascal Elbé, with Sandrine Kiberlain, Pascal Elbé (1h33).

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A romantic comedy that we would have liked to love, but whose comic spring never takes off. Affected by precocious deafness, Antoine lives in a bubble of loneliness, which his neighbor, a young widow tired of hearing the operas that our hero listens to loudly, will gradually break. Impossible to resist the sparkling charm of the duo Elbé-Kiberlain and the supporting roles (Emmanuelle Devos, Valérie Donzelli). On the other hand, the mechanics of the scenario remain too loose. No doubt for lack of rigor and precision. The problems are too quickly resolved, the misunderstandings dispatched and the comical humor crumbles in the face of the surging wave of good feelings which sweeps away everything in its path. Pity. Xavier Leherpeur

♥♥ Olga

Swiss drama, by Elie Grappe, with Théa Brogli, Anastasiia Budiashkina (1h25).

A first film with a slightly weighted scenario but carried by an inspired staging. A young Ukrainian gymnast arrives in Switzerland to train before a European championship. Her mother, a journalist, covers the political upheavals that her country is going through. The dilemma between personal and ideological commitment is a fascinating theme, but it is orchestrated here in a way too emphasized. On the other hand, the film captures well this teenager in distress. And it is a feat. By working on the frame, by immersing the body of his actress in the immense space of sports halls and their cold light, Elie Grappe makes one feel all the confusion of his heroine. Very promising. X. L.

♥ Cursed!

French drama, by Emmanuel Parraud, with Farouk Saidi, Aldo Dolphin (1h17).

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(SPECTRE PRODUCTIONS)

Who graps all, looses. The adage is verified here with this fiction which aims to tell at the same time the culture, the social drama and the history of Reunion. Vast undertaking, too theoretical and not sufficiently cinematographic. In search of his lost friend in the wilderness of the island, the hero is haunted by the memory of the victims of colonialism. ” Damn ! Is a film of ghosts and traditions, filled with beliefs and hopeless characters. But when you have to put all this together in a script, it unfortunately takes more control than its author yet testifies. Ditto for the staging which, between realism and fantasy, seeks itself without finding itself. X. L.

IT MISSED

High and loud

Drama musical marocain, par Nabil Ayouch, avec Ismail Adouab, Anas Basbousi, Meriem Nekkach (1h42).

Nabil Ayouch, a committed filmmaker, usually more impactful (“Much Loved”), sends Anas (rapper Anas Basboubi) to unknown land, to the Sidi Moumen cultural center in Casablanca that the director helped to create in 2014. Anas must there. lead a workshop to awaken Moroccan youth to the virtues of dance and hip-hop. And, by extension, free it from conservatism. Programmatic, talkative, too little structured, this “Between the walls”, half-doc, half-fiction, from which emerge a few sequences like that of a number danced between washing lines on a terrace or a rap punctuated by girls, seems to be running a thousand tracks at once without going into any of them. High and loud ? It is quickly said. Sophie Grassin

♥♥ The Horn Quartet. Up there on the mountain

French animated film, by Emmanuelle Gorgiard, Benjamin Botella and Arnaud Demuynck (42 min).

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The children already know this quartet of cows which, during their previous exit from the barn in 2017, had met its audience with more than 100,000 entries. We can bet that these new adventures will have the same success. Aglaé the insatiable talker, Rosine with her head in the air, Clarisse the coward and Marguerite the fashion victim are the heroines of two of the three short films, including the tasty “Up on the mountain” where they go to pick edelweiss . An adventure driven by tongue-in-cheek humor and a little wise, but effective animation. There is no denying it, humor is cowardly. X. L.

♥♥ Brother

French documentary, by Arnaud Fournier Montgieux (1h18).

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Two destinies, two men, a friendship in the suburbs of New York: the one that binds Roberto, a junkie delinquent, and Brother François, a former railway engineer who became a Franciscan. Plunging into the poor districts of Newark, Arnaud Fournier Montgieux observes with kindness these men – a handful of religious – who take care of the fragile, the deprived, the precarious. Shot in immersion, the film is both very moving and simple. No preaching, no activism, just a true eye. There is a rare warmth and strength in this film. F. F.