Au plus pres du soleil 2015
Au plus pres du soleil 2015
1h 43min | Drama | 9 September 2015 (France)
A tale of a couple of magistrates, a female judge and her husband advocate who are foster parents of a young teen whose the biological mother is in feud with the female judge, and in the same time begins an affair with the advocate.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A screenplay co-written by Gilles Legrand ,whose “Tu Seras Mon Fils ” is among my favorite contemporary movies.Although he did not direct it,Legrand reportedly was behind the subject .
A disturbing movie,which does not thoroughly satisfies but the several incredible moments of which make the viewing worthwhile.
Two thirds of the movie could be depicted as “the ghost of André Cayatte meets Mike Leigh’s “secrets and lies” and Kenneth Loach. The prologue might seem irrelevant ,but interesting because it shows Juliette’s ambiguity ,which further acquaintance reinforces:is she a modern “Nana” who uses her charms to squeeze dough out of weak guys or a victim of a society that despises her (the scene with her lover is revealing:”I’m a lawyer;you’re nothing!we’re worlds apart” )?We know that ,from the start (“I got pregnant when I was 13”) ,she got a raw deal.
That’s why the first scenes between her and the examining magistrate make the audience side with the crooked defendant against the strong hand of the law,epitomized by a harsh judge :Sylvie Testud’s (whose playing recalls a tougher Annie Girardot ) and the promising newcomer Mathilde Bisson’s verbal violence knows no bounds;at first sight the magistrate’s husband seems the “human” side of the law as we see him argue during the meal (‘why don’t you turn the telly on as other people do?,says a disillusioned son )But his bourgeois side will emerge when he thinks that his lover threatens to blackmail him .
To the writers’ credit we must point out that they spare us the brilliant- lawyer- who- always- wins and the husband-and -wife- fighting-in the court clichés,which mar so many movies .Here ,Olivier does not convince the jury who brings a 25 years sentence .And whereas the part of the young Leo is underwritten (and young actor Zacharie Chassériaud is rather bland),on the other hand ,Thomas Doret’s very short scene ,after he ‘s learned that his father is condemned ,will deeply impress you :his panic,his despair ,all rings so true it might be THE scene you’ll remember .
The last third is the least convincing: one suspects that Angelo and the screenwriters actually believe that on this liner en route to the Mediterranean countries ,they turn their tale into a Greek tragedy ….and do not know that it’s the good old melodramas of yore ,with touches of Polanski ‘s “Lunes De Fiel’ and Louis Malle’s “Le Soufflé Au Coeur ” thrown in for good measure;too many coincidences (as Testud tells her husband),too many implausibilities ,latent-but kept to economical levels- in the first hour;you can see right through it when Juliette begins to dance lasciviously to Abba’s “super trouper” ;in an old tear-jerker they would have heeded the call of the blood .
And in the end,like Icarus ascending on foolish arms ,the finale sinks into the sea.
See it ,anyway: it is a long way from the routine French production.
Director: Yves Angelo
Writers: Yves Angelo (screenplay), François Dupeyron (screenplay)
Stars: Sylvie Testud, Grégory Gadebois, Mathilde Bisson