Jessica Forever (2018)

Jessica Forever
Director: Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
Writer: Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
Cast: Aomi Muyock, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Augustin Raguenet, Lukas Ionesco, Paul Hamy, Eddy Suiveng, Maya Coline, Angelina Woreth, Théo Costa-Marini
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 12.9.2018

Plot:
In a dystopian world constantly patrolled by drones, Jessica (Aomi Muyock) is the leader / mother figure for a group of young men. They are the drone’s prime targets and Jessica does her best to keep them all alive, but at the same time tries to retain some sense of normality and civility for them. The newest boy to join them is Michael (Sebastian Urzendowsky) who still has much to learn until he can fit in with them.

Jessica Forever was a film that alternately bored me and made me angry. It makes little to nothing of its setting and it confuses a female character wearing a uniform with an actually strong female character. It’s pretty frustrating.

The film poster showing Aomi Muyock.
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Maryland [Disorder] (2015)

Maryland
Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour, Jean-Stéphane Bron
Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger, Paul Hamy, Zaïd Errougui-Demonsant, Percy Kemp
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 6.1.2015

Plot:
Vincent (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a soldier who struggles with PTSD after a tour in Afghanistan. While he’s home, waiting to be cleared for service again, he makes his money working as private security together with his friend Denis (Paul Hamy). They get a job at a party for a Lebanese businessman and Vincent is immediately suspicious of everything. Things get worse when he is asked to look after the businessman’s wife Jessie (Diane Kruger) and their son for a few days. Vincent feels drawn to Jessie but he can’t really trust his own perceptions: is he hallucinating or is there a real threat?

Maryland deeply impressed me. Not only does Winoncour manage to create an unbelievable amount of tension, Schoenaerts is absolutely hypnotic in his role. I was glued to the screen through the entirety of the film.

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Peur de rien [Parisienne] (2015)

Peur de rien
Director: Danielle Arbid
Writer: Danielle Arbid, Julie Peyr
Cast: Manal IssaPaul HamyDamien ChapelleVincent LacosteDominique BlancClara Ponsot
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 4.1.2016

Plot:
Lina (Manal Issa) comes to Paris from Lebanon to study. She is supposed to stay with her aunt and her husband but just before the semester actually starts, her uncle comes on to her. Lina runs away in shock. Without money, a place to stay or much idea about life in Paris, she sets out to build herself a life, with any means necessary.

Peur de Rien tells an interesting story and it tells it well, with one of the most fascinating and intriguing protagonists I’ve seen in a while. Every once in a while it strays a little too much and could have been more concise, but altogether, I really enjoyed it.

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