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HomeReview‘Misericordia’: Cannes Review

‘Misericordia’: Cannes Review

Dir/scr: Alain Guiraudie. France/Spain/Portugal 2024. 103mins. 

The movies of French writer-director Alain Guiraudie may be darkish (killer-at-a-cruising-ground drama Stranger By The Lake). They are often comedian (his final movie, terrorism-anxiety comedy No one’s Hero). Or they are often flat-out weird (quest fantasy No Relaxation for the Courageous). However some issues are completely constant: a testing of the conventions of fiction, a concentrate on the lawless vagaries of need, and a playfully left-field sensibility that’s uniquely Guiraudie’s. Misericordia, enjoying within the Cannes Premiere sidebar, initially appears to vow a low-key, straight-down-the-line French rural melodrama. However then it takes just a few confounding thriller detours earlier than displaying its hand as a philosophical (and even considerably theological) disquisition on guilt, redemption and the need of transgression in a messed-up world.

Spiked with contradiction, absurdity and touches of jovial raunchiness

With a solid mixing French mainstream favorite Catherine Frot (Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite) with newcomers and different unfamiliar faces, Misericordia is considered one of Guiraudie’s extra accessible works. It stands to make a average mark domestically however, given its visually downbeat tone and pared-down building, is unlikely to register overseas past devoted showcases for auteur work.

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Starting with a POV shot weaving via a hilly autumn panorama (the movie was shot round France’s Cévennes nationwide park), Misericordia begins with the arrival in a small village of a younger man named Jérémie (Félix Kysyl), who has been working in a bakery in Toulouse. He has come to attend the funeral of his previous buddy, village baker Jean-Pierre. The latter’s widow Martine (Frot) welcomes him and, whereas Jérémie is staying at her home, suggests he takes over her ex-husband’s bakery. Whereas mulling it over, Jérémie finds himself staying at Martine’s longer than anticipated – elevating the hackles of her firebrand son Vincent (Jean-Baptiste Durand, greatest often known as director of 2023 debut Junkyard Canine). Vincent is satisfied that Jérémie is out to sleep with Martine, whereas the truth is, he was at all times in love with Jean-Pierre – and at present has the hots for obese village loner Walter (David Ayala).

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Finally, Vincent and Jérémie come to blows with disastrous outcomes. That’s when the movie appears to grow to be a macabre thriller, as Jérémie digs himself ever deeper into his personal fabulations as he tries to cowl his tracks; in the meantime ever-watchful village priest Father Philippe (Jacques Develay, making a terrific display screen debut in late center age) helps Jérémie off the hook for his personal causes.

The movie is oddly repetitive: it builds its personal more and more claustrophobic labyrinth, from which it appears as if there is no such thing as a escape. Jérémie goes from Martine’s home, to Walter’s, to the native forest – the place mushroom choosing season is at its peak – then to Philippe’s church, and again to Martine’s, the place discussions are often in circulation over drinks within the kitchen. Then the entire spherical tends to occur once more.

Misericordia is often spiked with contradiction, absurdity and touches of jovial raunchiness. There’s additionally a philosophical streak that means that Guiraudie, in addition to utilizing a thriller framework in the best way of Claude Chabrol and Georges Simenon, can also be channeling these French Catholic novelists who as soon as impressed movies like Beneath the Solar of Devil, Diary of a Nation Priest and Thérèse Desqueyroux

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This may counsel that Misericordia is finally a movie with a message, and a extra solemn one than we’re used to with Guiraudie. However any obvious readability must be taken with a pinch of salt, the movie’s meanings shifting as continually because the erotic drives between the assorted male (and sometimes feminine) characters.

Manufacturing firms: CG Cinema, Scala Movies, Arte France Cinema, Andergraun Movies, Rosa Filmes

Worldwide gross sales: Movies du Losange, a.lesort@filmsdulosange.fr

Producer: Charles Gillibert

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Cinematography: Claire Mathon

Manufacturing design: Emmanuelle Duplay

Editor: Jean-Christophe Hym

Music: Marc Verdaguer

Major solid: Félix Kysyl, Catherine Frot, Jean-Baptiste Durand, Jacques Develay

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