Inexorable (2021)

Director: Fabrice du Welz
Writer: Joséphine Darcy Hopkins, Aurélien Molas, Fabrice du Welz
Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde, Mélanie Doutey, Alba Gaïa Bellugi, Janaina Halloy, Anaël Snoek, Jackie Berroyer, Sam Louwyck
Part of: SLASH 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 6.5.2022

Content Note: misogyny, animal death/cruelty, incest

Marcel (Benoît Poelvoorde) is an author, supposed to be working on his next book that has been a long time coming. Together with his publisher and wife Jeanne (Mélanie Doutey) and their daughter Lucie (Janaina Halloy), they decide to withdraw to Jeanne’s family estate in the country for a bit of calm. Shortly after their arrival, Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) turns up, bringing back the family dog that ran off. Quickly, Gloria finds a place in their home as a housekeeper and friend to Lucie. But her presence has an unsettling effect on the family.

Inexorable had me rolling my eyes so much because it is, on the one hand, boringly familiar, and on the other hand, enragingly misogynistic.

The film poster showing Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi) and Marcel (Benoît Poelvoorde) grabbing each other by the throat in a sexy way. He is turning around in suspicion. Behind them we see Jeanne (Mélanie Doutey) on the staircase in the distance.
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Adoration (2019)

Director: Fabrice du Welz
Writer: Fabrice du Welz, Romain Protat, Vincent Tavier
Cast: Thomas Gioria, Fantine Harduin, Benoît Poelvoorde, Anaël Snoek, Gwendolyn Gourvenec, Peter Van den Begin, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Laurent Lucas
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2019

Content Note: ableism/saneism

Paul (Thomas Gioria) lives close to the remote psychiatric hospital his mother (Anaël Snoek) works at. Paul is not allowed to talk to the patients, but when Gloria (Fantine Harduin) is admitted and immediately tries to escape, they meet by chance – and Paul immediately falls in love. Determined to help Gloria any way he can, Paul helps her escape and the two go on the run. But there was a reason that Gloria was in a psychiatric hospital.

Adoration captures Paul’s perspective perfectly, but doesn’t do enough with Gloria to make their story together really work. Thus, the film always feels weirdly distant and also too long.

The film poster showing a digital painting of Paul (Thomas Gioria) and Gloria (Fantine Harduin) standing in a boat, holding hands.
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Au poste! [Keep an Eye Out] (2018)

Au poste!
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Benoît Poelvoorde, Grégoire Ludig, Marc Fraize, Anaïs Demoustier, Orelsan, Philippe Duquesne, Jacky Lambert, Jeanne Rosa, Vincent Grass
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2018

Police officer Buron (Benoît Poelvoorde) has a murder to solve. And his witness Louis Fugain (Grégoire Ludig) has a story to tell. But as the officer tries to trip up Fugain, believing him to be a suspect in the death, Fugain starts to fumble in his account and the interview situation becomes ever stranger and more tense.

Au Poste! may be a little subdued compared to Dupieux’s earlier films, but that didn’t take away from its entertainment factor at all. It’s a beautiful exercise in absurdity.

The film poster showing a police officer and a man in handcuffs.
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La rançon de la gloire [The Price of Fame] (2014)

La rançon de la gloire
Director: Xavier Beauvois
Writer: Xavier Beauvois, Etienne ComarMarie-Julie Maille
Cast: Benoît PoelvoordeRoschdy ZemSéli GmachChiara MastroianniNadine LabakiPeter CoyoteDolores ChaplinEugène ChaplinOlivier Rabourdin
Seen on: 20.6.2016

Eddy (Benoît Poelvoorde) was just released from prison and is now staying with his best friend Osman (Roschdy Zem) and Osman’s daughter Samira (Séli Gmach). It’s not easy for Eddy to find his footing. Osman is dead-set on staying on the straight and narrow, despite big financial worries: his wife (Nadine Labaki) is ill and the hospital bills are mounting up. And then Charlie Chaplin dies and is buried not far from them. As Eddy watches the international grief, he has an idea: what if they were to hold Chaplin’s body for ransom?

La rançon de la gloire has all the makings of a dark little comedy with its unbelievable story that is actually based on true events, but unfortunately it falls almost completely flat.


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Le tout nouveau testament [The Brand New Testament] (2015)

Le tout nouveau testament
Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Writer: Jaco Van Dormael, Thomas Gunzig
Cast: Pili Groyne, Benoît Poelvoorde, Catherine Deneuve, François Damiens, Yolande Moreau
Seen on: 4.2.2016

God (Benoît Poelvoorde) leaves in Brussels with his daughter Ea (Pili Groyne) and his wife (Yolande Moreau). He’s a bitter, abusive man who enjoys nothing more than making humanity’s existence as miserable as possible, including his wife and daughter. One day, Ea decides that she’s had enough. With a little nudge from her brother, she decides to find six new apostles and change her father’s regime, starting with sending all of humanity their precise date of death and destroying the computer God usually works with. But God won’t go down without a fight.

I quite liked the idea of the film and I’m sure that Van Dormael and Gunzig had good intentions. Nevertheless the film and its overwhelming sexism left a sour taste in my mouth.



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