Rien a Perdre – first-look review

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Virginie Efira delivers a typically committed capacity other young breakout prima Félix Lefebvre successful this debut fabrication from Delphine Deloget.

Screenwriting how-to books will often see stern proposal astir jeopardy. You simply must see jeopardy! Create stakes, past raise those stakes. One guaranteed shortcut to this hallowed authorities of jeopardy would beryllium to make your lead characteristic a azygous mum. It’s for illustration playing a machine crippled connected nan astir difficult setting. One wherever you will beryllium judged, underestimated and yet simultaneously expected to execute astatine almost superhuman levels.

Delphine Deloget’s fabrication characteristic debut Rien à perdre! stars Virginie Efira arsenic Sylvie, a azygous mum to 2 boys: amiable teen Jean-Jacques (Félix Lefebvre), and younger “problem child” Sofiane (Alexis Tonetti). She useful nights successful a rowdy bar, and appears to get small applicable support from her 2 brothers, Herve (Arieh Worthalter) and Alain (Mathieu Demy). Tragedy strikes 1 nighttime while she’s astatine activity and unreachable, and arsenic a result, societal services get very forcefully progressive successful nan family’s life.

The film’s even-handed refusal to afloat make a telephone arsenic to whether Sylvie is simply a “good mother” (whatever that means) is fascinating. What could consciousness for illustration a cop-out plays arsenic a humane strategy successful an era wherever mothers, and so each kinds of people, are expected to beryllium sorted neatly into heroes and villains, wherever viewing and responding to creation takes connected nan reside of a civilized assessment. Deloget surely equips america pinch an knowing of why Sylvie makes nan choices she makes. But nan movie is not going to spell down nan easy way of coating her arsenic wholly a passive unfortunate of nan system, or, connected nan different hand, an irresponsible nightmare who deserves what she gets. She’s a flawed personification who is mostly doing her best. The mobility hovering connected nan margins is: what happens erstwhile someone’s champion is borderline?

Virginie Efira is 1 of nan finest actors presently working, and pinch Rien à perdre! it feels for illustration she’s completing a quadrilogy of sorts astir different forms of motherhood. We had her slippery double capacity arsenic an existent mother to 2 children and clone mother to a different kid successful nan psychological play Madeleine Collins (2021), her riotous ascent to Abbess of nan Convent of nan Mother of God successful nan title domiciled of Benedetta (2021), her lukewarm and heartbreaking move arsenic de facto stepmother successful nan sublime Other People’s Children (2022), and now Sylvie successful Rien à perdre!. Some actors hold a life for 4 roles showcasing that range, but here’s Efira, casually playing each that and much successful conscionable 3 years, and she excels successful each 4 roles.

That won’t beryllium a astonishment to anyone acquainted pinch her work. The revelation here, showing himself arsenic perchance a early prima of immoderate note, is Félix Lefebvre arsenic Jean-Jacques, pinch a layered, likeable capacity arsenic a teen mostly trying to debar conflict. It’s a perchance thankless domiciled excessively – nan consecutive arrow is seldom arsenic overmuch nosy for an character to play arsenic a fuck-up aliases chaotic child. But Lefebvre does a terrific occupation of telegraphing not conscionable Jean-Jacques’ default impulse to play peacekeeper, but besides his soul turmoil. And look, if you negociate to play an amiable teen pinch a ghost-moustache who breaks retired successful a rash complete his trumpet recital shape fright, but still dignify that characteristic pinch a consciousness of vulnerable charisma, you’re doing thing right.

Published 25 May 2023

Tags: Delphine Deloget Virginie Efira

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