7.4/10
56
2 user 1 critic

Un singe sur le dos (2009)

Francis is a successful car sales assistant, however recently outdone by other employees. His excessive alcohol consumption lets him lose control over his behavior once in a while in the ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Francis
Carole Franck ...
Jeanne
Marc Chapiteau ...
Louis, le concierge
Laurence Cordier ...
Sylviane
Romain Houplain ...
Gaspard
Alain Beigel ...
Carlo
Aristide Demonico ...
Fanfan
Eric Bonicatto ...
Thierry
François Godart ...
Le manager
...
L'amant de Sylviane
Fani Kolarova ...
Helena
Gaelle Fraysse ...
Margot
Xavier Memeteau ...
Le collègue de Francis #1
Rémy Gence ...
Le collègue de Francis #2 (as Rémi Gence)
Eric Ghesquière ...
Le collègue de Francis #3
Edit

Storyline

Francis is a successful car sales assistant, however recently outdone by other employees. His excessive alcohol consumption lets him lose control over his behavior once in a while in the presence of his family and his friends. His friends are confused, and his wife is afraid and in despair. When he is dismissed, he loses his security. One morning he wakes up in a bar in Bangkok and doesn't know how he got there. Francis has lost everything: his wife, his son, his work, his fortune. With a made up story he obtains money by fraud to get back home again. Written by Gerhard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 2009 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Heute habe ich nicht getrunken  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fine cautionary tale, well filmed and acted!
1 April 2011 | by (Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

This is a film about solitude, self deceit and of course, alcoholism as a metaphor of any other addiction.

Francis Belmont is your typical luxury-car salesman. Cheeky, self-assured, with a flair for cheap talk and an ability to lie. Flashbacks from the start make you see how life can change, how rough can be the fall, and how lonely can it become. Beautiful Sylvaine (Laurence Cordier) is the perfect wife, with perfect friends like Margot and her husband (with SUV sold by Francis), a perfect expensive house, a nice son "Gaspard"... Jeanne is sensible about her husband's problems, booze, financial, violence, but gullible and fragile in the end. By seeing her fall, we see ourselves believe in the lies some people around us always tell us, and how we believe them. That is the main "value" of this film. At that, it's simply chilling. Lelouche's acting as a 'physical' man, a drunkard who gets what he wants by lying and being violent is very believable, this is the ground on which the rest of the film builds upon. There is some criticism of prestige goods and "follow the crowd" by Francis but this is not really why he cracks. We are never told how it begun, nor how he managed to pull through till the beginning of the film. This may be my quibble of this movie. Porter Louis / Marc Chapiteau, is one of those "guardian angels" that sometimes pop up. Of course, he's got his own past behind him. Sadly nice Jeanne (Carole Franck ) is as important, and Francis gets to help her in a nice way called Helene from Latvia :). Her monologue at AA is moving, and the way Francis and her strike a friendship, not based on sex or interest. Francis's enthusiastic and brief speech: "get the girl" is a nice example of how they can also "get a life", besides their addiction. Humour and rebounding. Thierry, the record salesman, is very believable, as is their grouchy chief and Georges, his father-in-law. Note all characters are called by their names, no surnames, like at AA (Alcoholics anonymous). You see their struggles, how they live constantly fearing falling back, for the thrills, the pain as much as the easing of pain. "Thirst" is something you'll see differently if you get inside this film. Louis tells him: "start by staying clean for 24 hours". Jeanne advices him to look forward to the next AA daily gathering, and you see how hard this can be for formerly "winner" Francis. "I am here" Francis says to Jeanne, who answers: "that's what matters". Francis' "focused attention" on booze on bars is a vivid example of how deprived his life has become. Music is really fine, specially near the end. So is the piano and strings score, minimalist, anticipating tension. There's a fun scene with a piano, followed by Jeanne playing …, and another not so nice later with the same musical instrument. The city Lille where everything happens looks civilized. Every scene is well crafted, like the one that gives the film its name, or at the pawn shop, when he by his own accord sells his VIP 2K wristwatch for the pittance he's given (these shops are sleazy everywhere, I guess). As his way of guiltlessly lying about his dad as a way to come back from his unwilling "trip to Thailand".

My favourite scene is when he brags with the two clochards, his new "friends", father and son, about how strong he is at his job, as "conversation". BTW, there's no such thing as gratitude when you fall that low. The ending is rather abrupt, maybe commercial, don't expect much. On the contrary, I liked how they show how difficult is for them to get "back on track", with basic things like getting a job. That's why the role of "parrains": Louis, Jeanne and Jeannot is so important, because they know how it feels, are non-judgmental, and always available, 24/7. You'd only hope TV films would be half as good. Enjoy!


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Un singe sur le dos (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?