official selection – in competition

Tenth feature film for Bruno Dumont, one of the rare filmmakers to move the lines, starting with his own. The imprecator poses with France a new stone, that of a spectral and dazzling masterpiece, cutting with a halberd, with a silversmith’s finesse, in the networked imbecility, the cynicism of the elites, the howling injustice that have become our daily life . It is a period portrait of hallucinatory accuracy that offers us France. We are no longer here in the farce, barely in the caricature of a society that has itself become a caricature. France is the pathetic photo-novel of a work which puts its finger on our suffering, which makes people laugh and hurts. Place of action: here and now. Main character: France de Meurs (Léa Seydoux), star journalist of a non-stop news channel. In tune with the author’s frivolous Lacanism, one will hear in the name of the heroine the spiritual death of the nation which names her at the same time as the invocation of her perenniality.

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The substantial question of the film – as embodied by the character played by Léa Seydoux – is none other than that of this ambivalence. On the one hand, France de Meurs embodies the gangrenous stage of the entertainment society. Regressive narcissism (she makes grimaces and obscene gestures during a surreal press conference scene at Emmanuel Macron’s Elysee Palace), professional shame (she tampers with all her reports), moral obscenity (she makes distress of men, a spectacle that enhances her), the association with a coach who insults intelligence and dignity with each word uttered (Blanche Gardin, her eye riveted on the networks, who advises her to “Put his race” to Emmanuel Macron and who thinks that in terms of popularity “The worst is the best”), ostentatious luxury (his fireman’s apartment, his big house outfits), clinical family death (a writer husband, Benjamin Biolay, emotionally frozen Parisian ectoplasm, a logically psychopathic child).

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Unforgettable scenes

On the other hand, the beautiful varnished doll cracks as the real takes revenge for its constant blindness towards it. Distractively stamping a scooter driven by a young man of modest means and of North African extraction, France, seized with a fever of redemption, suddenly seems to overreact to the accident it caused and dreams of benefactor of the underprivileged family of the young man, confited in devotion to his status as a star of the small screen.

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