With The Palace, Roman Polanski overwhelms the Mostra

CRITICAL – Presented out of competition, the controversial filmmaker’s satire of the ultra-rich is a monumental failure.

Cannes having ped its turn, the Mostra selected the new films of Luc BessonWoody Allen and Roman Polansky. Three filmmakers who arouse controversy, to varying degrees, with regard to their judicial past. “I knew it could trigger reactions, told Film Français ahead of the festival Alberto Barbera, the director of the Mostra. On Polanski, I already spoke when we selected I accuse in competition in 2019: you have to make the difference between the man and the artist. »

The Palacethe new feature film by the 90-year-old Franco-Polish director, presented out of competition, in any case makes it possible to make the difference between the Polanski of yesterday (The pianist), the day before yesterday (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) and today’s. There is not much left of it and, after the press screening on the Lido on Friday evening, a cohort of pale journalists rushed to the Spritz to try to forget this bad joke.

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On New Year’s Eve, a large hotel in the Swiss Alps welcomes a host of rich, stupid and vulgar customers. A former star, a plastic surgeon and his wife suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, old skins more lifted than the Joker, the Russian ambador and his henchmen are brought together – they witness the transfer of power between Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin on television, and some has-been stars. Mickey Rourke, Berlusconian tan and blond toupee, inherits a room as big as a broom closet because he didn’t book (laughs). Fanny Ardant has a little dog who only poops in the gr and not in the snow, so he on his sheets (laughs). John Cleese gives a penguin to his young and fat wife to celebrate their first year of marriage (laughs). Fanny Ardant’s little dog ends up donning John Cleese’s penguin after the fireworks (laughs). Between two not funny sketches and gags, the hotel manager tries to survive this vampire ball, taking in the whims of his degenerate customers without flinching.

The satire of the ultra-rich is not a genre within everyone’s reach. Roman Polanski is not just anyone, but he is no longer the filmmaker he was. The Palace does not reach the ankle, nor even the toe of Without filterthe Palme d’Or Ruben Ostlundor of white lotus, the Mike White series. We understand why Polanski did not make the trip to Venice to witness the sinking. Luca Barbareschi, Italian producer of The Palace, took part in the press conference on Saturday, explaining that Polanski’s film had not yet found a French distributor but that he was hopeful. “ It would be a shame for France, an international cast, with Fanny Ardant, the most important French actress, in a fantastic film made by the most important French director…”. A much funnier statement than all the lines in the movie put together.

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