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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Either it is in France, Great-Britain or in the USA, nearly every big
actor felt one day or another to take a turn behind the camera to show
their potential as a director. Guillaume Canet, a young charismatic
actor added his name to this list which keeps on extending. With "mon
idole" (2002), his first long feature movie is strongly rooted in the
contemporary reality with the following topics: the hypnotic power of
television on the public and the relations of manipulation. However,
this exercise of style leaves a bitter taste in the mouth after the
vision even if the result is far from being uninteresting.
Do you remember professor Castro's leitmotiv in Alejandro Amenabar's thriller "Tesis" (1996) (We must give the public what he demands...). The professor thought of the violence. Today, the public wants not only violence but also daring TV shows pushed to the voyeurism. The satire is well here at the beginning of the movie during the TV show. Moreover, later the film contains a significant detail: Jean Louis Broustal breeds vultures. The metaphor is obvious. Nowadays, TV shows, especially TV reality occupy an enormous place in our lives and it can be source of wealth and respectability for the ones who run them. Besides, Canet seizes the opportunity to deride them. The sequence when Broustal, his wife and a friend of them are dancing in the living-room dressed in silly costumes constitutes a good example. It wouldn't be fair to call Broustal's wife a grown-up because she is still a child deep inside her. As for Broustal, all in all he is an eternal pampered child who only thinks of having fun. Now to come back to the starting point, Bastien (Guillaume Canet is an ambitious young man who would like to climb the ladder in television. He has a project for the telly and he presents it to his manager Jean Louis Broustal (François Berléand). It is useful to add that Bastien is widely impressed by this apparently serious man. Broustal is interested by Bastien's plan and decides to invite him in his country house in the country for the week-end. But Bastien is going to find out that his real motivations are drastically different from Broustal's.
It is quite easy to guess Canet's major inspirations. His movie finds itself half-way between "Masques" (1987) by Claude Chabrol for the setting, the first part of the story, the food and the cinema of the Coen brothers for the caustic tone. There are also strong echoes of "une étrange affaire" (1981) by Pierre Granier-Deferre. Canet seems to be film-loving to the core. He has also had intuition for the cast. Having hired François Berléand, a largely underrated French actor with a rich filmography was a good idea. Furthermore, him and Canet are well followed by the rest of the cast. The satire is quite fierce, the situations are comical, the actors feel visibly at ease in their respective roles. So, what is wrong with "mon idole"? Well, first Canet's opus appears a little hesitating because it wavers between comedy, drama and detective movie and as a consequence the young director has difficulty to find a unity and a lasting tone. Actually, the first part of the movie is the most successful. Gradually, we feel the suspense rising and Broustal's real intentions are taking shape. Roughly, we discover that Canet offers us a farce. Problem: it happens in the middle of the film and has strong chances to run out of steam quite quickly. So in order to restart the interest of the spectator, Canet tries his hand at black humor (the moment when Broustal's wife is involuntarily killing Broustal's friend) and it is where the movie goes awry. In a way, the young director artificially furnished the second part of the movie and it involves a lack of cohesion to the whole. As a result, Canet wanders from his subject and his movie has difficulty to hold water.
What can we say about his making? It alternates the best and the worst. There's a careful work on light and the scenery but Canet doesn't avoid the flashy effects like to prove his master of making.
But if there's a thing in the film that is spoiled ,it is the music. About it, "mon idole" has a common feature with Cameron Crowe's movie "Vanilla Sky" (2001): both present a badly used and sometimes too intrusive music. Maybe Canet's work is worse because a few songs in it by the feelings they bring out haven't got their place in a story like this one. At the end of the movie we hear "Abraham, Martin and John"! What did Canet think of when he wrote this sequence? That's a real disgrace from Canet.
Let's also regret a somewhat unsuccessful end because Canet couldn't use a thing that could have kicked the bull's eye: immorality.
So, "mon idole" is an interesting but heterogeneous work which could have been much better. It's a shame for Guillaume Canet. But if he wants to shoot a second movie maybe will he correct his mistakes.
I don't understand why this film didn't get more exposure cause it sure
is a UFO of a film. Knowing where it is going is impossible. Berléand
as the media tycoon is incredible, Canet perfect in his
ready-to-do-anything-to-succeed character, and Krugger is just
Cold sense of humor.
A good film to rent.
The end is pure poetry and a reflexion on what our society has become.
Recommended ? Of course.
Great movie, and funny too. François Berléand's performance is unique. For an hour and a half you don't know how it's going to end. And when you think you know what's next, you're wrong.
I haven't seen François Berléand anywhere else, but he is marvelous here.
was constantly watching out for him, guessing whether he was crazy,
or just blasé. The others are OK, but he simply eclipses them.
The film has some nice turns, especially in the first half, where it successfully keeps up a relaxed yet intriguing atmosphere of a rich man's weekend where anything can happen (very 70s). Also, there are great homosexual innuendoes balancing between funny and uneasy, something quite hard to achieve, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, the characters never develop after the first hour, and the ending is contrived. Still, its quiet humor, clever script and some great acting earned it my vote of 8.
On the set of a French TV show in the making we see the warm-up man
energizing, as they do, the audience of a Jerry Springer-like production
called `It's Tissue Time'. A fascinating intro, we are as enlivened as the
TV audience as the story begins. The sad truth of the attractiveness of
live television shows shines through as guests are humiliated through the
words of others, a premise that is expanded on throughout the rest of the
What we gather in rapid fashion is that the assistant (Bastien, played by director Guillaume Canet) cheering on the audience is an ambitious sort that wants to develop his own show after the styling of his chosen mentor, `It's Tissue Times' producer (Broustal, as played by François Berléand) . There are complexities involving other characters right from the beginning, including the presence of Broustal's wife, the unhappy and reluctant companionship of Bastien's girlfriend Fabienne (Clotilde Courau) and the egotistically insufferable `It's Tissue Time' host Philippe Letzger (Philippe Lefebvre).
A concept Bastien has developed for his own show is presented by Philippe and Bastien to the producer, and after being invited to a party at a disco Bastien is further asked to accompany Broustal and his much younger wife Clara (Diane Kruger, recently seen in `Troy') to their country home for the weekend. Bastien's ambition overwhelms any trepidation (he dismisses Fabienne's objections; this is his big chance!) he may have about the opportunity. The idiosyncrasies of the couple are unsettling to him and to us as well, portending a less productive and perhaps more involved weekend then Broustal has mentioned (working on the TV project).
So things begin to happen even on the ride from the disco to the country estate of Broustal. The real reason for the invitation is slow in coming, but is no real surprise as events unfold. But the proceedings are as strange as the setting for them; why does Broustal have an enormous cage with vultures, how normal is it for that man's wife to be so interested in Bastien, and why is one surprise after another perhaps normal in the affairs of Broustal and Clara?
What is great about this film and what sets it apart from mainstream movies is the relentless nature of Broustal. François Berléand gives a performance not unlike that of Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast" a few years back. Here is a character with enormous personal presence, generally unlikable but with reserves of condescension and cynicism the likes of which can only be transmitted through a strong performance.
This is a good film with grit-your-teeth moments, comic touches and the general cachet of "Sexy Beast". The Seventies feel is perhaps due to the Continental locale and décor of a manor appointed to the taste of an avant-garde couple. But what plays out at the estate is at times violent, always sexually tense, never touching and at all times unpredictable. This film is not for one with mainstream tastes and children need not view it until well into their thirties. Even the ending is a surprise, and a pretty tidy tie-up at that.
Rating: 3.5 Stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw Bastien's arc of him turning against Mr. Broustal coming. In the
end, he is a tragic character, likewise for Broustal's woman. What I
didn't see coming where the hilarious and suspenseful complications in
the plot as that arc would start to materialize. Nice closing animated
sequence - symbolic and lets us decide the meaning after Broustal
lectures Bastien on what POWER really is. Oh, so the tape did get him
it would seem. A dark comedy filled with innuendos, not for those who
are easily offended. Want to touch? says the lady when they are getting
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having more or less proved himself as an actor Guillaume Canet tried
his hand at Writing and Directing and the result is fairly respectable
so that anyone seeing this in 2002 may well have predicted a solid
future for Guillaume behind the camera and would have been proved right
when Ne le dis a personne won him a Best Director Cesar (plus a Best
Actor for Francois Cluzet) last year.
It's never easy to blur genres - Billy Wilder did it brilliantly in The Apartment but how many Billy Wilders are there out there? That's right, you can count them on the fingers of one thumb - and segue from Satire to Manipulation to Violence but on the whole Canet manages to pull it off more or less successfully. He seems to have a knack for picking solid leading men (witness Cluzet in Ne le dis a personne) and in Francois Berleand he found the ideal actor to personify corruption. Berleand has a long history - some 166 titles - of supporting the finest French actors with a recent foray into leading man status and here he provides the industrial-strength cement that holds the film together. It's nearly always a bad idea for a director to cast his wife in a film at all let alone a leading role and when the wife in question (they divorced last year) is Diane Kruger it is more Disaster than bad idea but Canet himself plays perfectly against Berleand and if he just misses some of his targets they are not the Satirical ones of television Game Shows. On balance a fine effort.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Marvell movie full of intrigue. The acting is superb - so much so I
forgot I was reading subtitles. One of the best movies I have seen in a
while with a charming, wry sense of the ridiculous. Overtones of
Bulgarkov's 'The Master and Marguerita'. This is one of those movies
that you watch helplessly as the characters lurch from one improbable
scenario to the next and you almost shout pantomime like as you watch
each catastrophe unfold.
As other people have commented, I have not seen many of these actors before and am keen to find other movies with these actors in them. A great movie and quite a surprise. Highly recommended.
I saw this movie yesterday at the "French Cinema Festival" in Skopje. I
literally forced myself to see the movie, even though the IMDb critics
weren't high because I have seen "Love me if you dare" (same leading
actor and somewhat similar idea). I will just say that at the end this
movie seemed like a reward for my stubbornness because it was
refreshing in many ways:
1. The musical solutions in the film: inserting really sexy and love melodies in "inadequate" places just to accent the irony.
2. Camera solutions. For example: the toilet water splashes the camera too, or the movements of the camera when Canet character hits the door with the car.
3. Perfect timing for insertion of animated scenes.
4. Fashion solutions, indoor design as well as the choice of surroundings - all colored with that refined French taste.
5.The ending of a somewhat familiar idea (seen in "The Game" for example).
The only weak link in this movie were maybe the profiles of the characters - the lack of depth possibly. But! Given the fact that it inspired me to write for the first time on IMDb (despite being a member for several years now) I must conclude that it was really inspiration.
Guillaume Canet is a talented (I think... I actually didn't see a lot of movies where he stared) youg actor who decided to write and direct his own movie : "mon idole" (my idol). The result is a quite good little movie where the audience is never exactly sure of what will come next. Watching this I thought of movies such as Claude Chabrol's (like his "inspecteur lavardin" serie) but also some from Jean-Pierre Mocky. The main character is under pressure and so are we, there is definitly something here. Only lacks the moments when Broustal (the boss) could be seducing, could justify to be... an idol. The cast is great.
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