Albatross: A great Beauvois [critique]

Xavier Beauvois recounts the ravages of social misery in the region of Etretat, which he knows well with overwhelming dignity. A superb staging gesture.

Xavier Beauvois is back for a film shot near his home, in Etretat, with his partner (Marie-Julie Maille, intense) in front of his camera, who is also his co-writer and editor, their daughter and many of his neighbors, all nourished by the confidences of his policeman friends on their daily life… Beauvois tells and films this daily as brilliantly as he recounts the stress of farmers in this corner of France, suffocated by a crisis that pushes them to the limit. Its staging is all the more impressive because it is invisible. She invites the spectator to share this multitude of details which, placed end to end, nevertheless create the conditions of a storm sweeping everything in its path. In appearance, his Albatross is divided into two parts. First the description of this daily life through the prism of the gaze of a local policeman (Jérémie Rénier, impressive) then the consequences of a poorly controlled gesture, when this policeman kills his farmer friend who was going to commit suicide by wanting him. save the skin. The affable man, the pillar of his family as of his colleagues then becomes like an undead, incapable of the slightest reaction, with the only means of survival: departure, flight into the open sea. Two parts, therefore, but only one. film, with the scenario knitted with the same care as this staging which grabs you without manipulating you. Beauvois loves each of the characters he films as much as he hates this ever-present social misery, ready to ruin the powerful solidarity they have forged to resist the swell. Dignity is the key word in this intense film.

By Xavier Beauvois. With Jérémie Rénier, Marie-Julie Maille, Victor Belmondo… Duration: 1h55. Released on November 3, 2021

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