A geological era seems to have passed (and maybe that’s it) between the twentieth century twenties The story of my half-wife (The story of my wife) by the Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi and those from the 2000s The Olympics (it is an area in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris) by Jacques Audiard. What divides them are education, sexual customs, social roles, but they are united by the difficulty of dealing with their feelings, of really looking within themselves to understand where their heart is leading them. Golden Bear in Berlin in 2017 with Body and soul, the Hungarian director seems to want to decline those same themes – the love between a man and a woman, attracted to the unconscious but blocked by their roles – from a new angle, that offered by the novel of the same name by Milán Füst (published in Italy by Adelphi ), the story of the esteemed navy commander Jacob Störr (Gijs Naber), who decides to marry almost as a bet (with a friend played by Sergio Rubini) with the first woman he meets. Fortunately for her, she has the magnetism of Léa Seydoux. But the long periods at sea inevitably end up igniting suspicion and jealousy, which the beautiful and sensual Lizzy seems to enjoy not denying. Thanks also to the present of an insistent suitor (Louis Garrel). Declined in seven chapters that suggest how it will end, the film struggles a bit to remove the patina of costume melodrama: its impeccable (and expensive) reconstruction ends up stifling the moments of beautiful intensity that ignite the couple and above all the their subtle game of attractions and rejection, in which other women come into play (Luna Wedler, Jasmine Trinca, Romane Bohringer), each one responsible for illuminating different characters of male sensibility: romanticism, carnality, curiosity. But they cannot erase the impression of a film that is a bit prisoner of their own aesthetic choices.

Jacques Audiard also starts from literature (the stories of the illustrator Adrian Tomine, published in Italy by Rizzoli / Lizard) to tell about the sentimental, and above all sexual, crossings that occur between some inhabitants of the area The Olympics (voto 6/7), in Paris. Between the high school teacher Camille (Makita Samba) and the telephonist Émilie (Lucie Zhang) who sublets him a room, it is sex at first sight that ends when she confesses that she has fallen in love. Even Nora (Noémie Merlant) struggles to understand what she wants from Camille, who has left teaching to become a real estate agent, and it will be the nighttime chats with a porn star (Jehnny Beth) who looks like her to reveal the secrets of her heart. At the beginning the film seems to be the uncensored diary of sexual freedom that young people consume without problems and that Audiard resumes with some easy aesthetic concession: Camille is black and her body clinging to the light ones of Émilie and Nora (the film is almost all in black and white) seems to obey more to the reasons of elegance than of passion. But it is when sex is put aside that the film finds its real raison d’etre, which is to reveal the sentimental fragility and psychological fears that naked bodies would like to hide, giving us back the portrait of a more fragile generation than that. who is willing to admit.

Champion of the white trash aesthetic, Sean Baker usurps a place in competition with Red Rocket, (vote 4), predictable and slightly exhilarated portrayal of a declining pornstar, Mikey Saber (Simon Rex, also with him with a little risque past) reconnecting with his wife (Bree Elrod) while trying to convince an uninhibited donut seller ( Suzanna Son) to follow him into the world of porn. We are in the most anonymous Texan province, between smoking chimneys and multicolored houses, during the Trump / Clinton election campaign, and the film seems to take pleasure in showing the squalor and misery – moral before economic – of a sub-proletarian, selfish and profiteer. Here are missing children who at least in the previous one A dream called Florida they were tasked with uncovering a nation’s broken dreams; there remains only the selfishness and ignorance of a population without ideals and without morals, told with the sloppy and anonymous style of streaming cinema, where a few glimpses of family squalor do not redeem a satisfied amorality.

July 15, 2021 (change July 15, 2021 | 21:17)


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