“Jumbo”, disenchanted merry-go-round – Culture / Next

There are people who fall in love with objects, and it’s really very serious. This is where Zoé Wittock was coming from, in a first film born of his fascination for these individuals, often suffering from autistic disorders, who develop an attraction for the inanimate – so this American objectophile, from whom the filmmaker is inspired , who caused a stir in 2007 by marrying the Eiffel Tower. For an hour and a half, Noémie Merlant, in the role of a left and reserved amusement park warden, polishes the buttons and runs her fingers sensually over the body of a robust fairground carousel. Yes, a thrill ride of around thirty meters high that she loves tender love, it can happen. And we recover surprisingly quickly from this unusual argument: the most salient feature of the film, acquired with total benevolence towards this inclination, lies rather in the refusal to seize the possibilities that his script offers him at a loss.


Humor, for example, would have oxygenated what ultimately turns out to be a dismaying melo of love impossibility all that is most literal (do not look for the parable…), with a lot of mournful mourners hanging on her Basque. The world where Jumbo would be shocking is not the one we live in. Too connected to the Internet and to his taste for freaks to oppose him with incredibly incredulous resistance. And far too haunted by our technological future where the figure of the cyborg hovers not to theoretically fall in love with a woman and the machine.

Even turning its back on a form of ridiculous cynicism or deflationary surrealism in the Dupieux style, the film was not destined to embarrass: cinema is fond of bizarreness, and what privilege would there be to make it? he did not allow himself to describe the sensual emotions of a young woman rolling in a puddle of gasoline? It is remembered that in 2007, Ryan Gosling managed to move in the friendly A fiancée like no other, by Craig Gillespie, where he fell in love with an inflatable doll.


Here, the extraterrestrial language emitted by the anthropomorphic merry-go-round, its coos of electronic beast and its lights of flying saucers called for bringing into existence more this intriguing world of objects inhabited by the heroine, which evokes the animistic slope that each one cultivated one day in childhood. In place : “OK, it’s weird but it’s her thing, and it hurts no one“, Will functionally summarize one of the characters to pardon all the eccentric sexualities that exist in nature. Edifying summit of a manifesto for tolerance to the taste of bread crumbs.

Sandra Onana

Jumbo of Zoe wittock with Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon… 1 h 33.


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