La Presse at the 77th Cannes Film Festival | Seen on the Croisette

(Cannes) Director of Large batha popular success in France in 2108, the actor Gilles Lellouche offers in competition another mainstream film tailor-made to please. phew love is a nostalgic teenage romance set in the 1980s and 1990s, with music from the Cure, Billy Idol and Prince, and a gangster film. All with American (or rather, French wanting to pass as American) sauce. John Hughes’ blacker-than-pink version meets marshmallow Tarantino.

Adaptation of the novel Beating Hearts by Neville Thompson, transposed into a small coastal town in the north of France, phew love tells the improbable and stagnant love story between Clotaire and Jackie, who is born for a few months as a teenager and survives into adulthood…despite major obstacles. I’m not giving anything away: we understand this from the first sequences of the film.

François Civil and Adèle Exarchopoulos embody these characters in their mid-twenties, steeped in the archetype: Clotaire “Racaille” is a delinquent beaten by his father; Jacqueline is a melancholic who lost her mother in a car accident. Between them, the teenage love at first sight does not fade, despite the years and the forced separations. What wouldn’t we do for a bad boy who breaks faces…

Lasting 2 hours 46 minutes, this film which moves from cliché to cliché could – and should – have lasted an hour less, at least. Audrey Diwan (The event) collaborated on the screenplay. In his place, I wouldn’t leave that in my CV, so much so that Gilles Lellouche feels the obvious and annoying need to demonstrate his cinematographic grammar.

He gives the impression of a young beginner who is practicing his skills, by multiplying the falsely original shots and the eye-catching effects. phew love is a predictable and complacent work in its violence as well as in its desire to draw tears. A pizza with blue flower cheese (cheesythe Anglos would say) tailor-made to melt hearts.

All We Imagine As Light: bright and poetic


Image taken fromAll We Imagine As Light

Winner of the Golden Eye for best documentary at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021 for the fascinating but dry A Night of Knowing NothingIndian filmmaker Payal Kapadia presents in competition a very inspired first fiction feature film, All We Imagine As Lighta feminist, subtle, poetic and luminous work which focuses on economic, social class and gender disparities in India, as well as religious tensions.

Prabha, a nurse from Bombay without news of her husband who has been exiled in Europe for more than a year, lives in a shared apartment with Anu, a carefree young colleague, in love with a young Muslim man, a love that her parents would not approve of.

Can we escape our destiny? asks Payal Kapadia, looking at the shackles of traditions that dictate the fate and existence of women, starting with arranged marriages and dowry. Thanks to its delicate and perfectly calibrated music, its magnificent paintings in the mist, at monsoon time, which gives it the air ofIn the Mood for Love, All We Imagine As Light is a film that emanates a sweet melancholy.

The hosting costs for this report were paid by the Cannes Film Festival, which had no say over it.

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