Mandibules [Mandibles] (2020)

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Grégoire Ludig, David Marsais, Adèle Exarchopoulos, India Hair, Roméo Elvis, Coralie Russier, Bruno Lochet
Part of: SLASH 1/2 Festival
Seen on: 17.6.2021

Content Note: ableism

Manu (Grégoire Ludig) is currently homeless and desperate for cash, so when he gets recruited to transport a mysterious suitcase from one house to the next, he accepts. He steals a car and asks his best friend Jean-Gab (David Marsais) along for the ride. When they check the trunk, though, they find a dog-sized fly trapped there. Jean-Gab is certain, if they manage to train the fly, all of their problems are over. But that might be easier said than done.

Mandibules is a bit of a mixed bag of beans. There were definitely moments where I had to laugh in all honesty, but there are also really problematic things here that should not be in the film at all. Despite those, though, the film managed to take me along for the ride.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film in a group shot.
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Sibyl (2019)

Director: Justine Triet
Writer: Arthur Harari, Justine Triet
Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel, Sandra Hüller, Laure Calamy, Niels Schneider, Paul Hamy, Arthur Harari
Seen on: 3.8.2020

Sibyl (Virginie Efira) is a therapist who feels inspired to return to her first passion of writing novels. So she lets go most of her clients and prepares to write a novel. When she gets a call from the young actress Margot (Adèle Exarchopoulos) who is in obvious distress, she makes an exception and takes her own as a client as well. In Margot’s story, she finds the inspiration she needed for her novel, but the more time they spend together, the deeper Sibyl gets sucked into the story herself.

Sibyl gives us an antiheroine in quite a few very complicated relationships (and if they aren’t complicated on their own, she knows how to complicate them). This is engaging material, especially with that cast, but it does spiral a little too much at times.

The film poster showing half of Sibyl's (Virginie Efira) and half of Margot's (Adèle Exarchopoulos) face.
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Orpheline [Orphan] (2016)

Director: Arnaud des Pallières
Writer: Arnaud des Pallières, Christelle Berthevas
Cast: Adèle Haenel, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Solène Rigot, Vega Cuzytek, Jalil Lespert, Gemma Arterton, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Sergi López, Karim Leklou, Robert Hunger-Bühler
Part of: Scope100
Seen on: 18.12.2016

When Tara (Gemma Arterton) is released from prison, she goes to see Renée (Adèle Haenel). Renée works as a school teacher and is trying to have a baby with her boyfriend (Jalil Lespert), but it appears that her past was rather different: Tara demands money from her, money they stole together before she was arrested, at a time when Tara worked with Sandra (Adèle Exarchopoulos). But how does Renée’s life tie in with Sandra or teenager Karine (Solène Rigot) who behaves much more maturely than she is or the small Kiki (Vega Cuzytek) who loves to play outside, even at the dangerous junkyard.

Orphan really impressed me (and was the first of the Scope100 films that year that actually did). It’s a well-made film with fascinating female characters.


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La vie d’Adèle [Blue Is the Warmest Color] (2013)

La vie d’Adèle
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writer: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Based on: Julie Maroh‘s comic
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche

Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is in high school when she meets art student Emma (Léa Seydoux) and falls in love immediately, despite never really suspecting before that she might like women. And Emma, even though she has a girlfriend, really likes Adèle, too. Emma is comfortable and very out, as opposed to Adèle, but opposites obviously attract and the chemistry between the two of them is quite explosive.

Here’s what I took away from this movie: 1) lesbians have sex too (surprise, surprise). 2) 3 hours is really, really long. 3) there are many different ways you can look wistfully into a camera. In other words I didn’t care much for this movie.


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