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The second act, The Palace, The Fantastic Three... Films to watch this week

Comedy by Quentin Dupieux, 1h20.

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The second act, The Palace, The Fantastic Three... Films to watch this week

Comedy by Quentin Dupieux, 1h20

The second act opens the 77th Cannes Film Festival. With Dupieux, the Croisette has fun. A huge burst of laughter will resonate among the yachts and private beaches. The selection has hardly accustomed us to such fantasy, to so much freedom. How does this phenomenon of Quentin Dupieux manage? This is his third film in a year. This pace takes nothing away from his talent. It explodes from the first seconds, where Louis Garrel asks his friend Raphaël Quenard to seduce the young lady who is chasing him. She calls him all the time. He can't take it anymore. Quenard is wary. There is something. Is she ugly? No way. So she's not a real woman? Oh dear, a little calm. Garrel is afraid of being “canceled”. The two men walk on a road in a very long sequence shot, without stopping talking. Then, we will be treated to the girl in question waiting to introduce her father to the chosen one of her heart. The scene will continue in a drawn-out dialogue for Vincent Lindon and Léa Seydoux. Where are they going? Are they in a movie? The device makes you dizzy. Well, okay, Lindon is an actor who has had enough of his job and who will change his mind when Paul Thomas Anderson offers him a role. Seydoux has his mother on the phone, who tells him the truth. As for her daughter, she finds that she does not have a serious profession. It doesn't stop. In passing, Dupieux makes fun of these syrupy sequences with expected lines and marshmallow music. The meeting of the four takes place in a restaurant lost in the middle of nowhere. The waiter is shaking. He can't pour this overpriced Burgundy into the glasses. In the toilets, Quenard tries to kiss Seydoux. She threatens to denounce him. Garrel calls his agent to cut Lindon to the American director. Nice mentality. Around the Formica table, arguments follow one another. We come to blows. Blood flows. The other customers observe them and wonder. So this is the seventh art? Dupieux diverts the clichés, throws his kicks at right thinking. He's talented. He is smart. Naturalness and buffoonery take the place of style. Coming out of this Second Act, only one comment is necessary: ​​again! IN.

Also read: With The Second Act, Quentin Dupieux dynamites French cinema

Drama by Romain de Saint-Blanquat, 1h27

With La Morsure, the young director Romain de Saint-Blanquat was able to skillfully walk the tightrope between styles, eras, day and night, reality and dream, or the myth of Eros and Thanatos. The year is 1967, during Mardi Gras. In this pre-sixty-eight France, which thinks that its patriarchal model of society will last, we feel the seeds of an adolescent revolt emerging. In a blue blouse, a cross hanging from her neck and her hair pulled back, the heroine, Françoise (Léonie Dahan-Lamort, formidable in her feverish fragility), shapes a protest identity. A resident of a strict Catholic high school run by horned nuns, the young girl has a nightmare that she thinks is premonitory: she sees herself burned alive like a witch. Convinced that she only has one day left to live, she decides with her friend Delphine (Lilith Grasmug, all nuances and solidity) to go out of her way to join a very sixties ghostly party organized in a large empty house in the forest. . We could therefore believe that The Bite tells the story of an encounter between a witch and a vampire. Nope. The film instead strives to decipher the mental universe of a young girl in the middle of the transition to adulthood. Behind the masks of this true-false horror film lies a first intimate work paying homage to Cléo de 5 to 7 by Agnès Varda than by Truffaut's Quatre Cents Coups. O.D.

Also readOur review of The Bite: a vampire ex-fan of the sixties

Drame de Michaël Poet, 1h36

Inseparable and resourceful, Tom, Max and Vivian, 13, have made an old abandoned construction site, on the edge of a forest near a lake, their secret kingdom. This is where they meet to swim, laze in the sun or shoot BB guns. When they're not selling cookies door-to-door, officially to support the workers' movement at the only factory still in operation in this stricken town in the Ardennes. For them, it is in fact a matter of quietly building up a pot of money to afford the summer camp that their parents cannot afford to pay for. It's almost summer and life is good when you hit the streets on your bike with your friends. Even if Vivian's mother, on strike, no longer works, and Max's mother, who is depressed, hardly leaves her room. This first feature film by Michaël Dichter begins as a “teen movie”, a sunny and nostalgic adolescent film, an enchanted bubble where we dream of becoming big while still remaining a child. But it is short-lived. A disruptive element will come and shake up the trio. This is Seb (Raphaël Quenard), Max's big brother, released from prison earlier than expected under an electronic bracelet, limited in his movements. As handsome a charmer as he is a manipulator, he needs Max to retrieve for him a bag that he had hidden in a wasteland before being arrested. This is only the beginning of the problems for the latter, caught in a spiral and in the middle of a conflict of loyalties between his family and his best friends. The film then turns into a thriller and a social drama with equal effectiveness, exploring the different genres without sacrificing any. Poignant, the film is also carried by the strength of its distribution. V.B.

Also read: Our review of Fantastic Three: goodbye to childhood

Horror by Demian Rugna, 1h39

The critics and the public of the Gérardmer Fantasy Festival found themselves with a common bad taste when they awarded their prize last January to When Evil Lurks, the fifth feature film by Argentinian Demian Rugna. The story of two brothers confronted with an epidemic of violence caused by a festering corpse possessed by a demonic spirit. Contaminated men, women and especially children begin to savagely kill those around them, with an ax or behind the wheel of a car. A form of severe Covid. We think of Vincent must die and of Karim Leklou as an innocent victim of a society on edge. Rugna is more of a fan of Diego Maradona than Lionel Messi – he stuck the photo of the “ Pibe de oro” on the back of his phone. He likes gore, provocation and shocking images. He is a little too sure of himself and his effects. When Evil Lurks is nihilistic entertainment, with complacent violence between two tunnels of heavy and explanatory dialogue. E.S.

À lire aussiNotre critique de When Evil Lurks: virus minus

Comedy by Roman Polanski, 1h41

On the evening of New Year's Eve, a large hotel in the Swiss Alps welcomes a group of rich, stupid and vulgar guests. Gathered together are a former porn star, a plastic surgeon and his wife suffering from Alzheimer's disease, old skin more lifted than the Joker, the Russian ambassador and his henchmen – they witness the transfer of power between Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin on television, and has-been stars. Mickey Rourke, with a Berlusconian tan and a blond tom, inherits a room as big as a broom cupboard because he didn't make a reservation (laughs). Fanny Ardant has a little dog who only poops in the grass and not in the snow, so he shits on her sheets (laughs). John Cleese gives his young, fat wife a penguin to celebrate their first year of marriage (laughs). Fanny Ardant's dog ends up riding John Cleese's penguin after the fireworks (laughs). Between two sketches or unfunny gags, the hotel manager tries to survive this vampire ball, putting up with the whims of his degenerate customers. Satire of the ultra-rich is not a genre for everyone. Roman Polanski is not just anyone, but he is no longer the filmmaker he once was. The Palace doesn't come close to the level, or even the toe, of Without Filter, Ruben Östlund's Palme d'Or, or of The White Lotus, Mike White's series. E.S.

Also read: Our review of the film The Palace: a monumental failure by Roman Polanski

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