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HomeReview‘An Ordinary Case’: Cannes Review

‘An Ordinary Case’: Cannes Review

Dir: Daniel Auteuil. France. 2024. 115mins

Daniel Auteuil directs, produces, co-writes and stars on this strong, barely plodding courtroom drama a couple of jaded barrister who finds himself unexpectedly emotionally linked to what must be simply one other unusual case. Auteuil performs Jean Monier, the lawyer appointed to defend Nicolas Milik (Grégory Gadebois), a delicate teddy bear of a person and a loving father who has been accused of murdering his spouse. The extra Jean explores the case, the extra he turns into satisfied of his shopper’s innocence.

 This filmmaking isn’t about taking dangers or pushing the envelope

That is Auteuil’s fifth outing as a director: his first three footage – The Properly-Digger’s Daughter (2011), Fanny and Marius (each 2013) have been remakes of Marcel Pagnol’s Nineteen Forties Marseille trilogy; his fourth, The Different Lady (2018), was tailored from a play by Florian Zeller. For his newest, Auteuil turns to the work of the late Jean-Yves Moyart (aka the blogger Maître Mô), a felony lawyer who drew on his experiences of the French authorized system to change into a best-selling writer. An Extraordinary Case will likely be most warmly acquired in territories that embraced the supply materials; elsewhere, Auteuil’s title must be a draw, though it’s attainable that viewers appetites for French courtroom dramas could have been at the very least partially sated by Anatomy Of A Fall.

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Comparisons with Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winner are inevitable and unlucky. Whereas Auteuil delivers a usually nuanced efficiency, the screenplay is a moderately leaden, by-the-numbers affair and isn’t in the identical league because the serpentine class of Triet’s movie. A non-linear construction makes use of the three days of the trial, set in January 2020, as a framework round which to construction a collection of flashbacks illustrating the varied accounts of the suspects. (An area bar proprietor who’s Nicolas’s solely pal, performed by Gaëtan Rousse, can be accused of involvement within the homicide.)

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We first meet Nicolas as he’s ladling out pasta for his quite a few kids. He’s plump, somewhat harassed. He appears to be like like harmlessness incarnate. When the police come to his door to arrest him on suspicion of homicide, Nicolas appears shell-shocked. Unable to course of the truth that his spouse, a imply drunk who would recurrently move out on a public bench within the native village, is lifeless, he persistently refers to her within the current tense.

It’s a robust efficiency from Gadebois, who performs Nicolas as a beaten-down sufferer with simply sufficient hardness round his eyes to provide us the occasional second of doubt. Jean, who often prefers to prosecute moderately than defend, is moved by this unhappy, defeated man who’s extra involved for his kids than he’s for his personal plight. He decides to take the case.

Sadly, for a movie that unfolds predominantly within the court docket, the depiction of the authorized proceedings is lacklustre. Jean shows little of the brilliance and panache that will warrant his hot-shot fame; his closing assertion is weak, each legally and dramatically. And the screenplay has seemingly chosen to disregard the truth that forensic science exists. Fussy, formal classical music on the rating provides to the sense that this filmmaking isn’t about taking dangers or pushing the envelope.

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Nonetheless, it’s watchable sufficient, up to some extent, because of the standard of the solid, which additionally consists of Sidse Babett Knudsen as Jean’s colleague and associate. A stunning closing coda, nonetheless, feels exploitative and unearned, highlighting the manipulative qualities of the storytelling moderately than delivering the intestine punch that was presumably supposed.

Manufacturing firms: Zazi Movies

Worldwide gross sales: Studiocanal Sebastien.Cauchon@Studiocanal.Com

Producers: Hugo Gélin, Nelly Auteuil

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Screenplay: Steven Mitz, Daniel Auteuil

Cinematography: Jean-François Hensgens

Manufacturing design: Christian Marti

Modifying: Valérie Deseine

Music: Gaspar Claus

Major solid: Daniel Auteuil, Grégory Gadebois, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Alice Belaïdi, Suliane Brahim, Gaëtan Roussel

 

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