Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde keeps turning up the volume of the radio for the latest news. A deceased sister's interest in the estate is represented by a niece who is an antique dealer, who is most interested in grandmother's emerald ring that Milou's daughter Camille has already slipped on her finger. A non-relative, a truck driver who can't deliver his load of tomatoes in Paris, brings a nephew who was part of the uprising. Everyone is on strike and the matriarch can't be buried.Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeanne Herry, who plays Françoise (the little girl) is the real-life daughter of Miou-Miou. In 2014 she directed her first feature film, 'Elle l'adore', starring Sandrine Kiberlain and Laurent Lafitte. See more »
I've long felt that Louis Malle was my favourite French director. Pushing out the cinematic envelope with his honest perceptions about real people, but with a sort of steady verve. They can be challenging, always absorbing but none like Milou in May -
which is one of wonderfully loose 'no lectures today' sort of light comedies about the country-set all getting hot and bothered about sorting out funeral arrangements. The fact is that there's a national strike which causes difficulties for the various interested parties in getting there and that Paris is literally burning with the '68 student riots. But those same facts are wonderfully incidental, revealing maybe how different the upper middle class country retreats are away from poor, clashing students in the big City. Physically, socially and economically.
A playful Stefan Grapelli score delights, with a lush, so lush (it IS May) cinematography which added the cream on top of the cake, with added witty dialogue, and almost fantastical characters. They might be a little caricatured, but with an oh! so, charismatic lead. We all dreamed of uncles like that when we were ten years old! As they hang about waiting for the rest to turn up, the lazy, hazy May afternoon strolls on, with a wisp of sex and drug taking, it's an intoxicating blend of slight naughtiness to spice up a usually (for most people) unpleasant but necessary gathering.
This is Kodachrome Malle, rather than his monochrome.
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