Crowned with four Oscars, the Palme d’Or and the César for Best Foreign Film, Parasite by Bong Joon-ho was the most anticipated. There is a before and after this feature which became cult as soon as it was released, the first foreign film to win the Oscar for Best Film and the first Korean film to receive the supreme award at Cannes.
With him, Korean cinema finally opens up to the general public. In France, almost a million and a half spectators have seen it indoors. He succeeds in reconciling specific dimensions of Korean society with a discourse with universal scope on the opposition between rich and poor – and between poor, which makes his message even more poignant. All members of the Kim family are unemployed. When the son manages to give private lessons in English to the wealthy Park family, their life takes a seemingly very promising turn. The eclectic director of Mother, of Snowdrops and D’Okja brilliantly combines acerbic social criticism, stripping humor and formal success.
Portrait also of those who poverty pushes to the margin, Wretched by Ladj Ly, shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, won prizes at Cannes, Deauville and Les Césars. This rude and humanist feature film drew two million spectators to theaters.
Through the eyes of a policeman who joins the anti-crime brigade of Montfermeil, in Seine-Saint-Denis, this fiction based on experiences observed by its director depicts the life of a city, the different groups that compose it and the tensions that oppose them. The sarcastic humor of the beginnings is followed by uneasiness when a questioning gets out of hand. In a fall in thriller tones, the film deploys all the power by heartbreakingly showing the place of the children, relegated among the relegated.
Can we be and have been? After the ambitious Mr. and Mrs. Adelman, Nicolas Bedos returns with an even more successful film, The good times, perhaps partly inspired by his father, the humorist Guy Bedos. Talented designer, Victor, a sixty-something-year-old, no longer finds inspiration in his art or consolation with his wife Marianne, who ferociously mocks his passivity. Their son offers him to relive, between theatrical artifices and historical reconstruction, one day of his existence. Victor chooses the moment of his meeting with Marianne. Revealed in Mr. and Mrs. Adelman, Doria Tillier dazzles alongside Daniel Auteuil, at his best for a long time, in this bittersweet romantic comedy where we find the director’s obsession with the slow work of wear of time on love and its overwhelming sense nostalgia.
What a joy when animated films show what real-world cinema cannot do. This is the case with I lost my body by Jérémy Clapin, astonishing fable awarded with a César where a severed hand searches for a town in its owner.
The story progresses in two joint intrigues, Naoufel’s trajectory from childhood and the quest for this hand, served by a staging full of discoveries. The depth of this extraordinary story and the formal mastery recall, if it were still necessary, the exceptional capacity of animation cinema to address an adult audience.
There are autobiographical films like books. This is the subject of Dazzled, the first feature film by actress Sarah Suco. She recounts her adolescence with parents trained in an increasingly sectarian Christian community.
His on-screen alter ego, Camille, 12, tries to retain his free will and protect his two brothers and his little sister from parental drifts in an atmosphere of withdrawal and paranoia specific to this type of structure. To the neat and luminous image of Yves Angelo, answers a dark story. Along with Camille Cottin and Eric Caravaca (the parents) and Jean-Pierre Darroussin (the community leader), all impeccable, the young Céleste Brunnquell impresses with the maturity of her game.
Film after film, Céline Sciamma builds a strong work. His Portrait of a girl on fire marks a new milestone. In 1770, Marianne had to paint the portrait of Heloise, a young woman who had just been removed from her convent to fulfill the destiny of her sister: to marry an Italian whom she would follow in her country. To delay this repugnant project, Héloïse refuses to pose. While posing as a companion, Marianne observes her to better trace her features on a canvas in the evening. After a fairly cold first part, the film grows with the feelings that arise between the two young women. Two intense actresses, Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant with contrasting energies, face each other in this dazzling ode to the love and emancipation of women.
Since his beginnings, Ken Loach has been the faithful painter of the setbacks of his most deprived compatriots. After Me, Daniel Blake, Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival, he returns with another social and committed film, Sorry, we missed you. Abby and Ricky work hard to raise their children in acceptable material conditions. Abby cares for people with disabilities, moving from home to home all day. Ricky goes into debt to buy a truck to become a delivery boy. This work will drag this united family into a spiral of difficulties. As always, the English director places the human at the heart of his story for a strong painting of a system that crushes people on the altar of the god Profit.