Été 85 [Summer of 85] (2020)

Été 85
Director: François Ozon
Writer: François Ozon
Based on: Aidan Chambers‘ novel Dance on My Grave
Cast: Félix Lefebvre, Benjamin Voisin, Philippine Velge, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Melvil Poupaud, Isabelle Nanty
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2020

Content Note: bimisia

Plot:
It’s summer and the sea stretches out before Alexis (Félix Lefebvre). He borrows a small boat from a friend to sail out, but he capsizes. Fortunately along comes David (Benjamin Voisin) and fishes him out of the water. Could there be a more romantic encounter? Alexis certainly doesn’t think so. Despite his more reserved nature, he is taken in by David’s spontaneity and charm and the two start spending a lot of time together. But David isn’t quite as easy-going as it may seem at first and every summer has to end.

Été 85 has strong moments and those moments manage to create some emotional resonance, but it does not achieve the involvement that would have been necessary to really make the story work.

The film poster showing David (Benjamin Voisin) and Alexis (Félix Lefebvre) on a motorcycle together.
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Dans la maison [In the House] (2012)

Dans la maison
Director: François Ozon
Writer: François Ozon
Based on: Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Yolande Moreau
Part of: Viennale (it was the surprise movie)

Plot:
Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a French teacher at the high school. When he gets an essay by one of his students, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), where he voyeuristically details a visit to his school friend Rapha’s (Bastien Ughetto) house, Germain not only recognizes Claude’s literary talent, but both Germain and his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) get drawn into the life of Rapha and his family – leading to unintentional consequences.

Dans la maison was extremely entertaining. It had a rather biting sense of humor that I enjoyed a lot and Ozon has the timing and pacing down to make it all work. It may not be the world’s most thoughtful film, but it is fun.

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Potiche [Trophy Wife] (2010)

[Viennale.]

Potiche is the newest film by François Ozon, based on a play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy and starring Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini and Jérémie Renier.

Plot:
1977: Suzanne (Catherine Deneuve) is practically the definition of a trophy wife. Married to Robert (Fabrice Luchini), who owns an umbrella factory, she spends her days with the household, writing bad poetry and getting visits from her grown kids. But when the workers at the umbrella factory start striking, it’s Suzanne who has to step in for her choleric husband.

Potiche is an entertaining film with a good cast. Its feminist message is watered down quite a bit to make more room for comedy, but it nicely captured the feminist current of the time. Most of all, it’s light-hearted.

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