Alpe d'Huez 2023: Les Petites Victoires, tender and sensitive [critique]

Alpe d’Huez 2023: Les Petites Victoires, tender and sensitive [critique]

Mélanie Auffret explores rural desertification in an endearing and never sentimental feel good movie, with Julia Piaton and Michel Blanc in the main roles.

In just two films, Mélanie Auffret will therefore have succeeded in creating and imposing a unique touch. A way of telling the daily life of what we now call “the territories” with a tenderness (that of the famous song by Bourvil which closes the story) and an empathy that is never cutesy to create feel good fables, which would not be denied not the British, great specialists of the genre. Her own territory is Brittany, where she was born. And four years later Roxanne and her producer of organic eggs who made her hens happy by telling them Cyrano, she takes us this time to the small village of Kerguen, symbol of the rural desertification that plagues our countryside through Alice’s fight, her mayor-teacher (Julia Piaton, luminous) to avoid the closure of her school where she has just registered…

Emile, a sixty-year-old (Michel Blanc, tasty) grumpy and suddenly explosive character eager to learn to read and write. Mélanie Auffret develops here a gallery of characters immersed in situations that the harsh reality leads to the terrain of the absurd but without ever falling into the picturesque. Because this character and these situations, she knows them by heart and if she advances with optimism pegged to her heart, she therefore has no illusions about the outcome of the duel of this earthen pot against the iron pot, on the inevitable side of the gradual death of these places abandoned by the public service.

But his militant gesture therefore passes through humor, through a real sense of emotion, through a way of speaking of love (missed appointments in the past by Emile because of his illiteracy in Alice’s first Tinder match , too overwhelmed for things of the heart) which touch directly on the heart because nothing is fabricated or forced there. Because Mélanie Auffret knows that with the band of actors she has brought together (India Hair, Lionel Abelanski, Sébastien Chassagne, Marie Bunel and even Marie-Pierre Casey), a look is worth more than a thousand words. A popular and endearing comedy which is one of the favorites of the winners of this Alpe d’Huez 2023.

Les Petites Victoires was presented in competition at the Alpe d’Huez International Comedy Film Festival. It will be released in theaters on March 1.

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