Lucas Delangle’s first film is a fable that is both sensitive and sure of itself.
Jacky, a rural and idle nerd, azure gaze and pompom air, lives since the death of his parents in the mountains with his magnetizing grandmother, until the day he meets Elsa, supernatural beauty, fierce lynx eye and wild impetuosity. Suffering from a strange hairy spot on her spine, she comes to ask the healer for help.
In one of the very beautiful scenes of this first feature film presented at the opening of Acid in Cannes, the bonesetter begins to pass on her gift to her grandson. His hands delicately suspended a few centimeters from the belly of an inert magpie, he believes in his hard-as-iron power and applies himself while the ancestor teases him: “You don’t have any sensuality, you’ve never touched a girl.“The scene contains both the qualities of the film, but also its limits.
Carried by a great duo of actors ices (Lou Lampros and Thomas Parigi), Jacky Pebble shines with the belief that Lucas Delangle instills in his film. With a true austerity that borders on stylistic asceticism, the film deploys a universe where teen movie rural, fantastic film and deference to the cinema of Alain Guiraudie. It unfolds with rare delicacy and audacity for a first work.
The result is at the same time sure of itself, firmly anchored in its subject but also open to the four winds. As in many French films of recent years, it is about abandoned youth in the region, a need to re-enchant the world through ritual and an over-awareness of death.
Where he convinces us a little less is in a form of discomfort with sensuality precisely. When Alain Guiraudie films bodies like no one else, Lucas Delangle seems to want to imitate him, without really succeeding. We feel a form of embarrassment when it comes to filming the flesh. It parasitizes the film but ends up endowing it with a subtext on femininity, quite coherent: the impetuous and untameable mystery of the feminine seen through the eyes of a young man delighted in the crèche. It is necessary that Jacky Pebble either a somewhat healing film to succeed in transforming this menu defect into quality.
Jacky Pebble by Lucas Delangle, in theaters now.