Drama by Marco Bellocchio, 2h15
In 1858, in Bologna, a 6-year-old boy was taken from his Jewish family by the Pope's soldiers. All this because he was allegedly baptized in secret by his nurse. The event did not go unnoticed. All over the world, cartoonists got involved, who were unaware of the existence of social networks. With The Kidnapping, Marco Bellocchio dwells on this news item which seems to have been imagined by a novelist lacking inspiration. It's too big. The scales fall from the eyes. All of this is real from A to Z. Little Edgardo finds himself in a religious college. He must renounce his faith, learn Latin, attend mass. In the dormitory, under the sheets, he quietly recites the prayers he has always been taught. The family does not recover. The father is solemnly received by a cardinal. No result. Pius IX does not budge: the kid will have a Catholic education. At times, the unwilling convert is seized with doubts. They don't last. The soul obeys contradictory injunctions. Cut off from the world and his family, bathed in a deep and frugal solitude, Edgardo moves away from his roots. He discovers the vocation of another future. It’s a tragedy in slow motion. Meanwhile, Vatican authority is challenged. His power is declining. Anger rumbles. The flags are waving. The sovereign pontiff does not move an eyelash. Italy is beginning to unify, to fall into disarray. Marco Bellocchio unfolds this intimate fresco with a firm hand, a camera sure of its movements. It mixes the decades in a stained glass light. It is a chiaroscuro opera, rocked by violins that are sometimes melancholy, sometimes thunderous. Surprising things happen there, hearings, trials, tears and screams. The film, solid and weathered like a period chest, moves forward with a determined step, with efficiency and refinement, imbued with controlled lyricism. Bellocchio has a voice that carries. It's a beautiful picture book. Melodrama is not going to die. He is a thousand times right. Amen. E. NOT.
Also readThe Rapture: of faith and many laws
Drama by Anna Novion, 1h52
Marguerite is a student at the École Normale Supérieure, mathematics section. She feels so at home there that she walks around the corridors in slippers. Her promotion has a particularity: she is the only girl. This did not prevent him from devoting his thesis to the Goldbach conjecture, a problem that had never been resolved. Here she is on the board, presenting her demonstration in public. A simple error, spotted by a researcher, is enough to bring down the entire building. We should change the subject. No way. Marguerite slams the door. Basta. Four years for nothing. Another universe awaits the young lady. You have to find accommodation, find a roommate, find money. For this last point, don't worry: she will earn her living by performing well at mahjong in clandestine rooms run by Asians. As for the roommate, she will be a dancer and sassy. Marguerite wants the same thing. She goes out. She drinks. She's flirting. This freedom stuns him. A little serious. Sleepovers, hangovers, that's okay for a while. She repainted the studio walls black to cover them with chalk equations. These formulas confuse the world and organize it harmoniously. It becomes art, poetry. The heroine is helped in her work by a fellow student who arrives from Oxford and plays the trombone. You don't need to have invented the theory of relativity to guess that these two will fall into each other's arms. Marguerite's Theorem is the story of a passion. We are between Will Hunting and An Exceptional Man. Ella Rumpf is taciturn, introverted, full of knowledge. Higher education is successful in French cinema, as announced by La Voie royale, where the Polytechnique was in question. E. NOT.
Also read Marguerite's Theorem: the math boss
Animation d'Hayao Miyazaki, 2h04
“Miyazaki’s ultimate film”: this is how we present The Boy and the Heron, a new opus from the master of Japanese animation. As if to give it extra value, it would be his “testamentary” film. The person concerned made no comment. His previous work, The Wind Rises (2013), already had autobiographical overtones - the man was born in 1941, his family built planes - realistically evoking the Second World War in Japan. The Boy and the Heron takes up the subject of war while expanding it into the larger dreamlike universe of a filmmaker who has never lacked imagination. The war hits in force from the first images: Mahito is awakened by the screaming sirens announcing an attack on Tokyo. The little boy rushes after his father towards the town and the hospital where his mother works and where she dies. Everything is fire, terror and destruction. This first epic scene contrasts with the second, where we see Mahito at the age of 11 arriving with his father, who has just remarried, in a village where his stepmother is waiting for him. The filmmaker's talent is displayed to paint a green countryside, a manor surrounded by nature and a mysterious tower slumped among brambles and ivy. Beauty invades the screen while a heron brushes past the young boy. This bird will soon turn out to be a kind of Jiminy Cricket. He inspires ideas in the head of the hero, who cannot find his place either in his new home or at school. There would be another world where his mother would be. Mahito will go looking for him. The story therefore definitively shifts into fantasy. “ The dead are the most numerous,” one of the characters says to Mahito. “ The world is a living thing infested with mold and insects,” says another. There is indeed something twilight in this latest film, a dark tone which remains throughout despite some humorous touches and the poetry inherent to the Japanese universe. It is therefore not intended for younger spectators. A film about mourning, it can also be seen as an anthem celebrating man's resources and resilience in the face of adversity, “whether the world is beautiful or ugly”. F.D.
Also read: Our review of the film The Boy and the Heron, Miyazaki's twilight fable
Drama by Vasilis Katsoupis, 1h45
It looks like it, but Inside is not the American remake of Vécés were closed from the inside, Patrice Leconte's first feature film. Here, it is not the living rooms, but the entire apartment that is closed from the inside. Nemo finds himself trapped there. A seasoned burglar and art thief, he breaks in with the help of an invisible hacker who remotely deactivates the security system. But when everything goes wrong, the intruder is left to his own devices, stuck, like a rat. Nemo is played by Willem Dafoe. A work of art in itself, between Shakespearean madman and Green Goblin. With a rough-hewn face and a gnarled body, he resembles the drawings of Egon Schiele scattered around the apartment. Through the large bay windows (unbreakable double glazing), you can see the Manhattan skyline. Nemo hardly has time to be ecstatic. Cruel irony, this connected house, an overprotected home, becomes a prison full of dangers. The heating is on. The water no longer flows. The gas is cut off. The refrigerator speaks or plays Macarena but contains no food. The only edible item is caviar. Nemo eats it by the ladle while watching television. The images captured by the video surveillance cameras appear on the screen. We see a cleaning lady going up and down the floors of the building, distant and indifferent. For his first fiction film, Greek director Vasilis Katsoupis orchestrates an involuntary and radical confinement, a return to the wild in a high-tech and hypercivilized environment. Nemo fights for his survival. To avoid dying of thirst, he licks the walls of the freezer. Without water, the toilet bowl is unusable. Nemo ends up in his underwear. He goes crazy, draws on the walls, talks to himself, explains the recipe for pasta cooked in cold water. The luxurious apartment deteriorates over the days, to the point of taking on the air of a dump. Inside is a metaphysical nightmare. And Nemo, a Pascalian or Beckettian hero. The good days will not come back. E. S.
Also read Notre critique d'À l'intérieur, survivre d'art et d'eau fraîche
Biopic of Géraldine Danon, 2h11
Navigation errors for the purposes of a film on sailing, nothing to worry about. Question of light, framing, weather. With the exception of sailors, who will notice the incongruity of having Florence Arthaud's character sail on the port side in the trade winds? And who to note that, in the final shot of the interminable feature film devoted by Géraldine Danon to the navigator, the actress Stéphane Caillard, who plays - certainly, with passion - the first and only woman winner of the transoceanic race the Route du rhum solo in 1990, goes overboard to starboard but watches his sailboat move away to port? The night is dark. In the film as well as on this Saturday, October 29, 2011 when Florence Arthaud's life really almost turned upside down off the coast of Cape Corsica. Before she truly disappeared, less than four years later, at the age of 57, on March 9, 2015 during a helicopter accident in Argentina. Losing your life in the air while “the little bride of the Atlantic” has so inspired girls and boys to surpass themselves thanks to her exploits at sea: this is a tragic paradox. This biopic is another one. Seen by Géraldine Danon, the extraordinary journey of poise and daring of a record breaker on the oceans drags on. Flo is a scholarly cinematic exercise entangled - the fault of most biopics - by chronology. Géraldine Danon depicts the life of her heroine as one would go through a shopping list. What did the director want to show with this portrait? And what is the point of taking over such a flamboyant feminine life and reducing it to this stringing of pearls? Except perhaps to prove that a woman can live as brazenly and destroy herself as much as a man. A fantastic demonstration if it had benefited from a scenario, an image and a direction. Flo isn't completely vain, though. After an hour and a half of waiting, the beauty and excitement of ocean racing finally takes over. I.S.
Also read: Our review of Flo: chronicle of a shipwreck