With this film presented out of competition last year at Cannes, Nicolas Bedos signs a jubilant caustic comedy.
Of course you remember Martha Duval. She was playing in Final bouquet . She was Lucrezia Borgia. This fading glory lives out anything but peaceful days in his Moorish villa on the Côte d’Azur. It’s a beautiful place to wait for the end of the world. To make this stay sweeter, the diva – interpreted by an Isabelle Adjani who rolls in her legend as in a comforter – has granted herself the services of a gigolo: Adrien (amazing Pierre Niney). A former dancer now considering himself a writer. No one is fooled, neither he nor she – and, of course, none of their friends. We pretend.
The laughter rings out too loud. The evenings skate. A Jaguar lands in a pond. A stranger upsets the senses of the parasite, tired of fulfilling the ardor of his patron. Adrien is under the spell of Margot (amazing Marine Vacth). These two have long teeth. They are going to see, eh, these wealthy people. It’s not rocket science to roll them in flour.
A real estate developer melts for the sy young lady. You have to watch François Cluzet, dented, derisory, touching, learn by heart from Paul Éluard to please a client who displays an English accent à la Jane Birkin. Emmanuelle Devos does very well the abandoned wife, philosopher, unhappiness without emphasis. In the midst of these turpitudes, the two heroes will try to believe in love, try to be different.
Nicolas Bedos broods, quotes Somerset Maugham, films beings on the edge of the abyss. His camera cringes. He has the virtuosity, the tinsel of a Sorrentino. This dreamscape hides nightmarish manoeuvres. Masquerade is cruel and beautiful. Invention does not cease for a second. The scenario pulls the carpet under the feet of the spectator, delighted with the deception.
Nicolas Bedos is outrageously gifted. It shows Marine Vacth like no other, a superb bitch emerging from the darkest films and our sleepless nights. From Adjani, he drew new chords. She grinds her image, plays with her flaws. She slips into the dresses of this Norma Desmond from the Alpes-Maritimes, capricious, pathetic, moving. She proclaims:I’m twenty-five with fingers in my throat “, and adds:”I don’t know where I come from. That’s why I’m an actress.The replies fuse. Achievement gallops. The cynicism is only a facade. There will be blood, a trial. It’s as if Jean-Pierre Mocky had met Scott Fitzgerald. The tourist office risks being devastated.
With this film presented last year at the Cannes Film Festival, French cinema is rubbing its hands.