Cannes 2021: Les Intranquilles – Love against all odds [critique]

Joachim Lafosse successfully entered the competition by talking about bipolarity without falling into the trap of the film about it. And propels Damien Bonnard into a serious candidate for the interpretation prize

Five years later The couple’s economy presented at the Directors’ Fortnight, Joachim Lafosse is back in Cannes for his first steps in the competition. The Unquiet emerges after a delicate moment in his career: the failure of his adaptation of the novel by Laurent Mauvignier, Carry on with a critical and public failure without appeal. And the discovery of the film reminds us how the career of a filmmaker is only a permanent succession of ups and downs.

The Unquiet tells a story of love against all odds, the one that unites Leila and Damien, despite the latter’s bipolarity, subject to uncontrollable and uncontrolled crises. There is a great risk in this kind of business of getting bogged down in the film on the subject (mental illness and its collateral damage to those around them) coupled with a show of force from the actor embodying the repeated blasts of lead. Or precisely the reverse of what is The Unquiet. Built in close collaboration with its two main performers, the film totally transcends its subject matter. First by the interpretation all in finesse and contrasts of Damien Bonnard, never in the demonstration, in the stammering compared to what the scenes tell and always in an incredibly accomplice pas de deux with a Leïla Bekhti in tune. Then because the disease is never the heart of the film but an obstacle to going around in circles so that this couple can live fully and serenely this love which unites them, them and their child (remarkably interpreted by Gabriel Merz Chammah, son of Lolita Chammah … and grandson of Isabelle Huppert). A devouring enemy who, day after day, despite the violence it carries, will only strengthen the unwavering bond that unites them.


The Unquiet terrace you emotion (s) precisely because it does not sacrifice to any tearful ease. Because we saw him immersed in Damien’s head, overwhelmed by what he saw as and in Leïla’s, refusing to abandon the ship despite successive storms. The competition of this 2021 Cannes film festival ends on a strong note. And we say to ourselves that two years after presenting here Wretched by Ladj Ly, crowned with a Jury Prize, Damien Bonnard would make a fine winner of the interpretation prize.

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