Alliance Française French Film Festival: second week review

Not easy to choose from the large number of movies on offer. This week we were together. Here are some additional reviews to help you choose.

Isabelles reviews:

The Last Voyage of Paul WR by Romain Quirot

In the near future, a mysterious red moon will be harvested for its energy. Until the day she “rebels” and suddenly changes her trajectory and hurries directly to Earth.

Paul WR is the only astronaut capable of destroying it. He refuses to carry out this mission and disappears. Mercilessly chased, Paul crosses paths with Elma, an independent teenager with a rebellious temperament. She will accompany him in his escape.

It starts very strongly, back in the 80s with Cambodia by Kim Wilde. Between Mad max and the Moon in the gutter, it’s hard to qualify this film. The subject is actually a science fiction film, but the result classifies it rather as a narrative, leaving a small taste of too much or not enough.

A short prologue, children’s drawings, also announces the color, so the future Peugeot 504 contributes to a retro side. It’s actually the 504, but it no longer needs wheels and runs on Alumina, energy from the red planet. The hunt is about to begin, a duel between the motherless brothers who have become enemies.

A cinema in ruins, funny coincidences and parables, it revives past riches; the world before under Elma’s dazzling eyes. We are sailing into a future where memories of the past can save the planet and it is Paul who holds the keys.

Romain Quirot manages to make us feel a certain tenderness towards his characters, his film is poetic and very aesthetic, the musical score is filled with nostalgia, a bit like survivors of this world in danger.

Goodbye, Mr Haffman

Farewell Monsieur Haffman by Fred Cavayé

The film is a film adaptation of an eponymously successful play by Jean-Philippe Daguerre, who won 4 Molières: a closed session in a Parisian jewelry store. Monsieur Haffman (Daniel Auteuil), to escape the Nazi raids, enters into a pact with his collaborator François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche). He “sells” her for nothing, her shop to go to the free zone with her family, and he will get it back when the war is over. His family manages to leave, but not him, he has to hide in the basement of his own shop.

François Mercier is an ordinary man who has not really spoiled life until now. But it will take a new turn. François wants to take over his former boss and sink into jealousy. He will even go so far as to make a pact with the resident and become the ordinary bastard.

This film not only raises the issue of anti-Semitism, domestic violence will also have great significance … which will change history.

To begin with, François Mercier was quite likeable, a model worker, a loving and considerate husband, he was to become abominable, unhealthy, manipulative, arrogant, jealous and violent.

Together with Daniel Auteuil and Sara Giraudeau (Blanche, François Mercier’s wife), he forms a strong trio. Blanche has an emotional power that holds the film together. Deleted at the beginning of the film, she ends up being a strong woman, master of her decisions, I will not say more so as not to reveal the end of the film. Daniel Auteuil is sensational, without making waves.

Commander Jünger (Nikolai Kinski) is also interesting, we will only dwell on his personal character traits: aesthetic, French-speaking, cold but fine psychologist and curiously surround himself with mediocre women.

This film offers us another facet of World War II, namely everyday life, where everyone has their own reality, without being manic, there are neither winners nor losers. Fred Cavayé knows how to keep us going, and the ending will surprise many.

Ouistreham

Ouistreham by Emmanuel Carrère

Emmanuel Carrère was inspired by the story of Florence Aubenas with his book “Le quai de Ouistreham” to tell the lives of insecure workers, mainly women. Marianne Winckler (Juliette Binoche) lands near Caen after, so she says, having left Châteauroux, where she lived a quiet life with her mechanic husband, until the day her marriage broke down after her husband’s infidelity.

A well-developed story of a new beginning… starts from scratch. She joins a team of cleaning assistants and discovers the solidarity and mutual help that unites these shadow workers.

The lives of these women are marked by the arrival of the ferries and the incredibly short time to clean all the cabins before the arrival of new passengers. Marianne forges true bonds of friendship until the day one of her friends, very shocked, discovers that her galley buddy is in fact an undercover writer. She feels she has been betrayed.

The staging is classic and discreet with a lot of emotion. The instructor manages to find a balance between the rituals of cleaning the boats and moments of female participation, aided by the involvement of Juliette Binoche. The non-professional actresses playing opposite her, some of whom rubbed shoulders with Florence Aubenas during this “experience”, are remarkable.

The ambiguity of the approach is the spice of the film, as well as the condemnation of working conditions that are unworthy of the 21st century. These questions regarding the ethics of the approach are also asked to Marianne Winckler by Pôle Emploi’s adviser, who discovered her identity but will not do anything. The “betrayal” is hard to digest for some of his colleagues. This film is a strong testimony.

Frederique reviews:

Waiting for Bojangles

Waiting for Bojangles by Régis Roinsard

“An Attendant Bojangles” is an adaptation of the multi-part award-winning novel by Olivier Bourdeaut. This dramatic comedy oscillates between happy and intoxicating moments and others much darker. Régis Roinsard, the director, offers the two main actors very intense roles. Virginie Efira (Camille …) is exceptionally precise and crazy. Romain Duris (Georges & Co) is impressive, so gripping is his sweet-crazy accompaniment. The music is ubiquitous and brings its touch of lightness but also gravity.

It is the story of an unparalleled family, united in the whimsical, but also in difficult trials. By denying the banal and tasteless lives of ordinary mortals, George and Camille invent a thousand lives and lead their son Gary into their fantasies. What’s a game for Georges is nature for Camille. When the latter goes too far, Georges and Gary will try everything to avoid the inevitable.

A very emotional moment and an incredible performance by the actors.

Little Nicolas' darling

Little Nicolas’ Treasure by Julien Rappeneau

We find for the third time the Little Nicolas and his friends in a new adventure. His father is offered a promotion he can not refuse: Destination Southern France. Incredible for Nicolas!

How can you imagine life without your best friends? Without Alceste’s insatiable appetite, Agnan the first in class and Clotaire’s nonsense, without this famous wasteland, theater for all their plays? With the help of his inseparable friends, Nicolas has an infallible plan … to find the treasure that will allow him to stay.

The actors have changed since the second half. The group of children remains fun and engaging, but the adults’ acting is not always believable.

This fresh family comedy always makes the youngest laugh.

Squad

The Brigade of Louis-Julien Petit

Ever since she was little, Cathy (Audrey Lamy) has dreamed of having her own restaurant. Meanwhile, she works in the kitchen of the High Priestess of Culinary Reality TV, Lyna Deletto.

One day, while Lyna is making the inconvenient remark to her, Cathy throws off her apron and has to look for work. She finds herself forced to accept a job as a canteen in a home for young migrants run by Lorenzo (François Cluzet). After a period of disappointment, the chef will return and succeed in bringing his teens full of good will.

A comedy full of good feelings that addresses the sensitive topic of unaccompanied minor migrants.

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