- 1h 25m
In a single unbroken shot, Roaring 20's gives viewers the chance not only to travel to Paris, but to live a day in the life there during the COVID-19 pandemic.In a single unbroken shot, Roaring 20's gives viewers the chance not only to travel to Paris, but to live a day in the life there during the COVID-19 pandemic.In a single unbroken shot, Roaring 20's gives viewers the chance not only to travel to Paris, but to live a day in the life there during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Silly empty exercise.
I watched this at Tribeca Film Festival and was utterly disappointed. The one-take film is nothing new and how that allows a flick like this to get into festivals is beyond my understanding. As for going from one character to another, Richard Linklater did that much better in 1990 with Slacker. Yeah, that was 30 (THIRTY) years ago. So Elisabeth Vogler and the Tribeca Film Festival team presenting this as a great innovation is either a perfect case of ignorance or a selling point lie. Vogler simply stole Linklater's setup which would have been fine if she did something great with it but unfortunately it's far from the case. As for the tour-de-force of doing this during COVID (another selling point) well... it doesn't look like an effort at all judging by the overcrowded Parisian cafes and streets. Basically, during the 2020 summer in Paris it was business as usual, they barely put on a mask to go into the subway. Of course you expect to follow intelligent French people who will at least entertain you only to realize that the script is gross. I was appalled by the dialogs in this film not to say anything of the vocabulary and expressions used. Do not think you will brush up your high school French with Roaring20s. Almost all the actors speak as if they come straight from Paris' worse suburbs. Add to it a sprinkle of English expressions (cute, oh my god!) because 'it's so cool' and you get the worst of the French lower middle class with none of this country's genius for language - which does spring from lower classes and specifically the minorities. The screenwriters really missed that. Unsurprisingly, Vogler is very careful in showing how diverse Paris is because that too is 'so cool'. Every segment is composed of two people: one white and one from minorities whether Arab, Black, or Asian. It's a perfect world: diverse, young, and very stupid. The worst is the dialogs content which quickly vacillates between zero degree intelligence and empty provocation (Oh my god! A talk about home porn, so shocking!). While some actors are excellent (Manuel Severi and the old man who is a comic actor's manager) most are below average and they all look like hipsters from Williamsburg ('so cool'). Worse, these people are simply not interesting. As a result, past the first hour you are roaring with yawns and the only thing that helps you carry on is looking at the film's backgrounds, trying to guess where it is shot. Yet, even there Vogler lacks intelligence: past the postcard perfect picture of the Seine at the beginning and the parc des Buttes-Chaumont at the end, all the streets she shows are equally dismal, claustrophobic, and squalid. Again, she brings her camera exactly where a suburban dude ignorant of Paris would go: the Seine's embankments, the Canal Saint Martin, and Belleville which is presented as the coolest place on heart (even the ignorant kid from Strasbourg has hard time believing that). Same for us. If you want to have a more interesting view of how the rich and the poor, whites and minorities mix in Paris, watch Alice Diop's We (Nous) instead. Vogler confines us to the bobos and newly minted hipsters from suburbs of a handful of tired places. Her small world I guess. Bottom line: if you are able to watch only the background of a movie go for the first half hour, otherwise skip this silly empty exercise.
- Jun 15, 2021
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