“Saint-Omer”, “No bear”, “He said”… Our movie reviews in theaters this week

Saint Homer****

By Alice Diop with Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanda. 2h.

A Parisian university student, Rama goes to Saint-Omer for the trial against an infanticide mother, Laurence, French of Senegalese origins like her. From her experience as an observer of the Fabienne Kabou case in 2016, documentary filmmaker Alice Diop draws a surprising fiction that questions our eyes, our knowledge, our judgments. Behind her chilling evidence, the tragedy at the center of the process therefore brings a sum of enigmas that reflect our society in all its complexity, with its stereotypes, its different realities, its inextricable legacies. Sprinkled with eloquent silences and powerful visual details, the film is enriched along the way with pleas where emotion surfaces, intense. Believing that Alice Diop’s cinema, unique in itself, at the crossroads between documentary and fiction, has magical powers. Al.C.

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No bears***

By Jafar Panahi, with himself, Mina Kavani, Bakhtiar Panjei. 1h47.

In an Iranian village just near the Turkish border, an Iranian director, alone… His crew is shooting on the Turkish side and he, blocked on the Iranian side because he is forbidden to leave the territory, directs them by videoconference. Provided that the wi-fi works and that the villagers who host him let him work … Taking charge of a situation that is both incredible and tragic, Jafar Panahi directs a highly incisive film on the unsustainable situation of his country. His mise en abyme speaks to us of his condition as an impeded filmmaker which is also that of any citizen condemned to live drowned in fear and prohibitions, even thinking of fleeing clandestinely, in spite of him, perhaps forever. Or to go back to past traditions, also obscurantist… Al.C.

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She said ***

By Maria Schrader, with Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan and Patricia Clarkson. 2:09.

In 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, reporters of New York Times, are assigned by their editor-in-chief to investigate sexual assaults taking place in the Hollywood film industry. They immediately collide with the law of silence and are victims of intimidation and threats… Produced by Brad Pitt, this film celebrates the long-term investigative journalism that changes contemporary society forever, through the Harvey Weinstein case and the emergence of #MeToo movement. Told in the form of a heart-pounding thriller, like reflector (2015), by Tom McCarthyAnd The President’s Men (1976), by Alan J. Pakula, the story is based on his direct script and his impeccable performance – special mention to Zoe Kazan – despite an impersonal staging. A relentless, edifying and necessary accusation. SB

The menu **

By Mark Mylod, with Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicolas Hoult. 2h48.

Chef Slowik is renowned for exceptional dinners, served on a private island that is accessed by invitation. At $1,200 indoor, it guarantees an unforgettable gastronomic experience for its guests… Rare meat on the menu! A dazzling thriller in the spirit of Agatha Christie, which transforms without warning into a deliciously sneaky and sadistic game of slaughter, orchestrated by a sociopathic cook with a festive atmosphere. We have the impression of being projected into an episode of The twilight zone, so much the screenplay assumes its audacity, its radicalism, its absurdity and its extremism. Produced by two ambassadors of vitriolic humor, Adam McKay (Vice) and Will Ferrell. SB


By Ulrich Seidl, with Michael Thomas and Tessa Göttlicher. 1h56.

In Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, Richie Bravo, a former crooner, earns his living performing in half-empty halls and selling his charm to mature fans. One day he sees his eighteen-year-old daughter arrive and asks him for money … Nice to find the Austrian director Ulrich Seidl (the trilogy Paradise), who always casts a ruthless, uncompromising and desperate gaze on his fellow citizens, filming a singular, unusual and even sordid reality. He is no exception to the rule with this drama co-written with his wife Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mom), which stages the fate of a moving and pathetic loser in an almost documentary way. Too bad history doesn’t avoid lengths and repetitions, which diminish its impact. SB

My ***

From and with Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila, Maïwenn. 1h25.

Suffering from a concussion that alters his memory and his moods, Moussa shares their four truths with his loved ones… Roschdy Zem draws his sixth film as director and screenwriter, a 100% autobiographical story that retraces the accident of which his brother Mustafà was the victim. In the form of an irresistible tragicomedy, punctuated by the settlement of scores within a joyfully dysfunctional family. We are amazed by the staging that multiplies the organic sequences, with two cameras and everyone in the frame, to transcribe the situations with impressive realism, by the captivating characters who look so much like us, by the writing and direction of precise actors who give the illusion of naturalness, spontaneity, even improvisation. The director opens his heart in this nugget overflowing with humanity, intimate and universal, through which he declares his love for his family. SB.

Bones and all **

By Luca Guadagnino, with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell McKenzie. 2h10. Prohibited for children under 16.

Abandoned by her father, Maren goes in search of her mother. She meets Lee, another adrift teenager who also feels the irrepressible need to feed on human flesh … Luca Guadagnino is never where you expect him. The 51-year-old Sicilian director, who exploded five years ago with Call me by your nameconfirms his taste for horror cinema after a first foray with Suspiria (2018), his remake of the Dario Argento classic. This time he stages two solitudes who meet and comfort each other, in the throes of an existential crisis in a road movie that outlines the stark portrait of a deep America that considers them monsters. The heroine, in search of her origins, identity and emancipation, must accept her condition. A fairy tale between horror and romance online with Trouble every day (2001), where Claire Denis has already explored the notion of cannibalism with the same singularity and the same radicality. SB

Inu-oh *

By Masaaki Yuasa. 1h38.

lnu-oh, a cursed creature, was born with a physical peculiarity that forced him to hide every part of his body. His life of exclusion and solitude is turned upside down when he meets Tomona, a blind lute player. Together, they create a singular duo that captivates crowds… The new feature film by Masaaki Yuasa (Ride your wave) evokes traditional Japanese images through handcrafted animation with a poetic and energetic pencil stroke that arouses admiration. Despite the evident plastic qualities of this unique and radical musical comedy, the story is hermetic, disjointed, confusing and bewildering, impossible to empathize with the characters, however extravagant they may be. SB


By Bertrand Bonello, with the voices of Gaspard Ulliel and Louis Garrel. 1h20.

The imagination of a teenager confined to her room wanders… This experimental UFO by Bertrand Bonello projects the viewer into the tormented thoughts of an 18-year-old heroine, a kind of waking nightmare that condenses all the director’s fears related to her time , himself the father of a daughter of the same age. Playing with the shape, he inserts 3D animated brackets, during which she makes her Barbies talk. That’s when Gaspard Ulliel steps in, doubling Ken. A rather unexpected reunion afterwards Saint Laurent (2014). Bold, generous, provocative and disturbing. SB

More than ever **

By Emily Atef. 2:03.

A woman suffering from an incurable disease sets out to reconnect with nature in Norway, while her husband must accept the inevitable: his desire to die alone, away from his family and friends… Emily Atef signs a poignant, albeit expected melodrama that is not devoid of evocation Love story (1971), Arthur Hiller’s masterpiece, which applies to the interpretation of Vicky Krieps, between strength and vulnerability, and above all of Gaspard Ulliel, luminous, minimalist and more subtle than his partner in a less obvious role. SB

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