Angoulême- 4th day: Dear Léa, The Young Lovers and The Best

Each day, a look back at three highlights of the 2021 edition of the Francophone film festival

The film : Dear Lea by Jérôme Bonnell

Delicacy is the watchword of Jérôme Bonnell’s cinema. This Dear Lea is in line with the Olga bun, from Bright Eyes and Adventure time, always with this ease to explore the torments of love, the moments when hearts are racing like those when passion is no longer experienced in the same way by both concerned. Dear Lea lasts the time of a day and its title echoes what constitutes the backbone of the story, this letter – with mysterious content – that its hero Jonas (Gregory Montel, of all plans or almost, amazes from start to finish) writes to the one who left him (Anaïs Demoustier, once again impeccable in a score yet complex), weary that he constantly postpones the moment when he was going to leave his wife for her. Dear Lea tells of the impossibility of saying goodbye and even more goodbye when one loves and the other no longer loves. The inability to bear that the loved one can love another. Poorly controlled outbursts. Statements that are no longer useful since the flame has long been extinguished. Most of the film takes place in a café, the one in front of Léa’s building, where Jonas has settled down to write his letter, postponing the appointments of his day one by one, under the intrigued and warm gaze. the owner of the place (Grégory Gadebois, irresistible as always). We think a lot about A family resemblance (which Gadebois also played wonderfully on stage) in this capacity to take over a place like a small theater with its colorful characters, each of whom feeds the main story, in small never overwhelming touches. Bonnell shows himself here just as true in the comedy as in the pure emotion (the face to face between Jonas and his ex-wife, camped by Léa Drucker, in a café of the Gare de l’Est, moment of a grace absolute). Delicacy made a filmmaker, we tell you. (in theaters December 15)

The scenario : Young lovers

It’s terrible that this film is a story. If we’d talked about an older man with a younger woman, it wouldn’t have created a story. This is what is amazing »This is how Carine Tardieu presents her fourth feature film, centered on a love story between a 70-year-old woman who had long had this type of passion behind her and a 45-year-old man, married and happily married. The famous love at first sight that falls on you and sweeps away everything but whose famous age difference will provoke exacerbated reactions. After a great start with Mum’s Head and Wind in the calves, Carine Tardieu was a little disappointed with Take me out of a doubt. Here she signs her most beautiful film by developing (with the collaboration of Agnès de Savy in the screenplay) a septuagenarian character who struggles to believe and partly to live this love as intense as were her first heartbeats. With in addition this urgency of time passing and this disease kills his relatives and which invades more and more his body. The director flees all pathos to tell a passion capable of overthrowing everything in its path, including the resistance of its main protagonist. Melvil Poupaud and Fanny Ardant reveal sublime complicity and intensity. The latter had already excelled in a character of a woman falling in love with a man younger than her in The good days by Marion Vernoux facing Laurent Lafitte in 2013. However, here, she never stutters, in the tone of a more serious and poignant film.

The first movie: Best by Marion Desseigne Ravel

Bunch of girls, Divine, Good mother… The films recounting the daily life of cities or suburbs, mostly seen through the dominant male prism, fortunately have their exceptions, to which is added this first feature film by Marion Desseigne Ravel. The filmmaker speaks here of love or more precisely of an impossible love when one has a reputation to maintain vis-à-vis his band. A love between two young women. The one who falls on Nedjma. Love at first sight for her brand new neighbor Zina. Her first real heartbeats which will for a time sweep away her own doubts and fears and even the eyes of others, before reality catches up with her and she suffers the violent rejection of her lifelong friends and her own little sister as well than the insulting reactions of people in his neighborhood. Marion Desseigne Ravel deals with this issue head on, tells about homophobia on a daily basis, the devastation made by a video on the net, the judgment of the other condemned because she is not like you, communitarianism in what it can be more terrible in the youngest. In a very beautiful scene, Nedjma’s mother takes her daughter aside and tells her that she does not understand why while her generation fought for freedom, that of their children is locked in the rules, the religious conventions , the ukases against those who do not think and love like them. And for all that, the director does not play judges, prosecutors, or lawyers. She tells a situation and its consequences with, pinned to the body and the heart, the certainty that love can end up triumphing over everything. Even if you have to go within the rules in a certain way, by hiding it. Marion Desseigne Ravel is therefore neither naive nor disillusioned but carrying a quality that has become increasingly rare on all these subjects: nuance. His never-Manichean film and his main actors Lina El Arabi (awarded at Angoulême in 2016 for Wedding) and debutante Esther Rollande, stunning in accuracy and complicity.

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