Teddy: the emblem of a revival of French genre cinema [critique]

A werewolf movie more convincing in terms of social comedy than outright fantasy.

Four years later Serious, two weeks later The Cloud, and in the meantime Ogre, here is Teddy, the werewolf film by the Boukherma brothers (Willy 1st), bombarded spearhead of a new generation of French genre films. Twenty years after the birth of a family of filmmakers fed on reading Starfix, this new new French school would have the particularity of not being built against the naturalist tradition, but of embracing it as well. Today, roughly speaking, the young French shoots have been fed indifferently to Pialat and Carpenter, to Dardenne and to John Landis. When disembarking in Teddy, a Teen wolf in the Pyrenees, we note in any case that we are in a territory belonging as much to Stephen King (tendency Carrie) than to Bruno Dumont. There is Little Quinquin in this description braque and rock’n roll of a proletarian youth in the provinces. Teddy is a 19-year-old boy who dreams of a pavilion with a pergola for himself and his girlfriend, but will come up against the violence of class barriers. A feeling of injustice soon amplified by the bite of a wolf that haunts the region …

Built on a slow rise, towards the expected metamorphosis of the hero into a lycanthrope, Teddy will prove to be quite disappointing in terms of pure and hard fantasy, by dint of ellipses and retractions. Its strength is elsewhere, in the often very funny dialogues of the Boukherma, their sense of zany white-trash, and in the devastating performance of Anthony Bajon, ball of energy and hallucinating intensity, who carries the film of his monster humanity .

By Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma. With Anthony Bajon, Christine Gautier, Noémie Lvovsky… Duration 1h28. Release June 30, 2021

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