Friday, March 13, 2020

A Faithful Man (2018, Louis Garrel)


This is a public service announcement. With all the closures and cancellations due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19, more and more people are staying at home. Netflix is okay and all, but I recently resubscribed to MUBI. It wasn't because of the panicking; they actually had good films programmed.

Director Louis Garrel has a very famous father: director Philippe Garrel. It must be hard to live in his shadow. As an actor, Louis has been doing well for years. This is Louis' second feature that he's directed. The first: Les Deux amis (2015) is pretty unknown to me, even though I'm a French film fanatic.

A Faithful Man stars model-turned-actress Laetitia Casta (who also played Brigitte Bardot in the Gainsbourg biopic directed by Joann Sfar). In France, I once bought an issue of Vogue just because it featured Casta with the most amazing fuchsia hair on the cover. Whether blonde, brunette, or otherwise, Casta's presence is electric. Her character, Marianne, and Louis Garrel's Abel live together. What starts out as a very standard film quickly turns out to be the blackest of black comedies.

Co-written by Jean-Claude Carrière (co-writer of several Buñuel films including Belle de jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), the film is very sophisticated. It turns in a weird direction when it shifts to the POV of Ève (Lily-Rose Depp). Ève has a crush on Abel and turns up at every corner, trying to prove her love for him despite the fact that he is in a relationship with someone else. Lily-Rose Depp, like Louis Garrel, also has famous parents: Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp. Bearing a very striking resemblance to her mother, especially in this film, she is like a young Paradis that never aged at all. Lily-Rose holds her own, but I would have liked to see her character developed in a more interesting way.

Thanks to MUBI for bringing his second feature to the very small screen. It expires at midnight tonight for U.S. audiences, so get on it!

Vegan alert:
Animals at farm (intended for slaughter)

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