The immensità **
By Emanuele Crialese, with Penélope Cruz and Luana Giuliani. 1h37.
In Rome in the 1970s, Clara, a submissive housewife to an authoritarian husband she no longer loves, raises her three children by passing on to them the taste for freedom that she lacks. She particularly broods over her eldest, who claims to be a boy born in a girl’s body… Filmmaker Emanuele Crialese reveals himself through this disarming autobiographical drama. Like Little girl (2020), by Sébastien Lifshitz, this initiatory story deals with trans identity during youth, through the portrait of a teenager who feels bad about himself who experiences his first sentimental emotions, with the support of his mother in Italy seventies, crushed under the weight of religion, tradition and patriarchy. Both light and serious, the film recounts the loss of innocence and recklessness, while denouncing the gaze of others, intolerance and domestic violence in a sometimes demonstrative way, enhanced by solar and vintage patina in line with God’s hand (2021), by compatriot Paolo Sorrentino. Downside, the whimsical musical interludes that cause disconcerting breaks in tone, short-circuiting the emotion provoked by the realism of the situations. SB
Read also – Penélope Cruz at the JDD: “I have no regrets”
The Cyclades **
By Marc Fitoussi, with Laure Calamy, Olivia Côte, Kristin Scott Thomas. 1h50.
Inseparable during their adolescence, Blandine and Magalie meet again years later. They decide to go to Greece together. With The Cyclades, Marc Fitoussi signs a buddy movie (comedy bringing together an ill-matched duo) which wisely ticks the boxes of the genre and sometimes seems to go around in circles. No doubt he would have benefited from being tightened up, but some of his lines and situations hit the mark. Above all, the director has the good idea of bringing a little depth and seriousness to a sunny story whose charm is also due to his duo of accomplice actresses, whom we imagine close to their characters in certain respects. Bap.T.
Great Sailor **
By and with Dinara Drukarova, Sam Louwyck. 1h24.
Lili arrives in an Icelandic fishing village with the hope of being hired on a boat despite her inexperience. For her first stint behind the camera, the Russian actress, well known in French cinema, adapts Catherine Poulain’s autobiographical novel. The film is based on a tenuous plot and keeps the mystery of its heroine’s past, even if it means frustrating the viewer a little. But the main thing is not there: it lies in the documentary and poetic approach of Dinara Drukarova who accurately depicts the harsh environment, especially through strikingly realistic fishing sequences. We knew she was a talented actress. With this refined but captivating story, here she is a promising director. Bap.T.
The Cadors **
By Julien Guetta, with Jean-Paul Rouve, Grégoire Ludig. 1h25.
Antoine, father and boat driver in Cherbourg, sees disembarking Christian, his quarrelsome and drinking big brother. Despite their differences, this one could well help him get out of a dirty story of drug trafficking. After Ride youth, Julien Guetta transforms the test with this comedy which is anchored, there is its originality, in the world of the dockers. Uneven but sympathetic, it turns out to be deeper than it seems and can count on a duo of convincing actors. As a fan of Renaud as an escape from the 1980s, Jean-Paul Rouve, also co-screenwriter, is extremely funny. Bap.T.
Rewind and play **
By Alain Gomis, 1h05.
While preparing his next fiction on Thelonious Monk, the Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis found a one-of-a-kind INA archive: two hours of rushes from an interview with the great jazz pianist, in 1969, for French television . Taking hold of cut images, his editing reveals the failures of the interview and the awkwardness of the presenter, Henri Arnaud, a connoisseur but unable to take a look other than exotic and fascinated on the artist. What emerges is a documentary punctuated by awkward silences, unpredictable and jerky like an air of Monk, revealing the media frenzy at the expense of a benevolent but misunderstood artist. AC
The Novice **
By Lauren Hadaway, with Isabelle Fuhrman and Amy Forsyth. 1h37.
Alex, a solitary and introverted young woman, joins the rowing club at her university. She is ready to do anything to succeed and become the best. This thriller lifts the veil on a sport rarely represented in cinema, torn by rivalries and low blows during intense training, through the portrait of an ambitious and competitive heroine, but obsessive, paranoid and masochistic, suffering from the fear of failure. A golden role for the ambiguous Isabelle Fuhrman (Esther), the advantage of a twilight story, with a slightly posed staging and a jagged rhythm. SB
Natural Light **
From Dénes Nagy, with Ferenc Szabo, Lazlo Bajko. 1h43.
1943 in the USSR. A Hungarian country is enlisted by the Wehrmacht to hunt down Russian resistance fighters. When the commander of his unit is killed, he is forced to replace him. Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin in 2021, this anti-spectacular war film, its director’s first to come from the documentary, follows a man confronted with horror, almost never shown frontally, groping in the darkness in search of ‘a little bit of light. Dénes Nagy takes care with the composition of his shots and films as close as possible to the faces with an almost pictorial approach which is the strength of a demanding story whose austerity can discourage. Bap.T.
By Damien Leone, with David Howard Thornton and Lauren LaVera. 2h18. Forbidden to under 16s.
A year after the massacre perpetrated in Miles County, Art, the bloodthirsty psychopath, returns home to satisfy his urges and liven up the Halloween party in his own way… The figure of the killer clown has haunted horror cinema since That (1990), adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller. At the same time director, screenwriter, editor, specialist in make-up, prostheses and artisanal tricks, Damien Leone puts his heart into his work by signing this gorissime B series, regressive, uninhibited and generous, which wallows in all the excesses and don’t take yourself seriously! With its 1980s patina and music, this ghost train-like massacre game assumes its decadent trip until it becomes an outrageous, grotesque and trashy outlet, but with humor and staging ideas. However, he does not avoid a few lengths. SB
Goodbye Happiness *
By Ken Scott, with François Arnaud and Antoine Bertrand. 1h47.
Four brothers who have everything against each other go to the family summer house to carry out their father’s last wishes. Except that the youngest placed the urn containing his ashes in his suitcase, which remained at the Montreal airport… Ken Scott’s new tragicomedy (Starbucks) orchestrates a settling of scores among a dysfunctional grieving sibling. The Quebec director has fun sketching his comical characters with offbeat humor in this choral film with luminous photography. Still, the scenario disperses and could have been more corrosive. SB
By Ursula Meier with Stéphanie Blanchoud, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, India Hair. 1h45
A young woman who assaulted her mother is forbidden to approach within a hundred meters of the family home. Nevertheless, she never ceases to defy this line… Both conceptual and powerfully embodied by four intense actresses, including a child, this new opus by Ursula Meier (Home, The child from above) surprises from start to finish without convincing. From the outset, violence and drama flood the film which, paradoxically, flirts with wacky comedy over sleepy situations. Except that we never laugh but yellow here, so heavy is the dramatic load, unfriendly, and woven with thick strings, like the character of Bruni-Tedeschi, failed concert performer and feared mother, infantile and guilty to the last degree . Al.C.