’21 Nights with Pattie’ (‘Vingt et une nuits avec Pattie’): Film Review

The latest film from French directorial twin a Larrieu brothers is a necrophilia-themed sex comedy headlined by Karin Viard, Isabelle Carre, Denis Lavant and Andre Dussolier.

Leave it to a French to order a necrophilia-themed sex comedy that’s enjoyable, light of hold and erotic in a summery arrange of proceed instead of, well, creepy. The latest film from a Larrieu brothers, 21 Nights with Pattie (Vingt et une nuits avec Pattie) stars Isabelle Carre as a joyful but, low down, also rather wintry lady who falls in with a colorful environment of her recently defunct mother. The multi-coloured organisation she encounters during her mother’s nation home includes Karin Viard as a sex-obsessed impression of a title; Holy Motors’ Denis Lavant as her masculine equivalent; Andre Dussolier as a certain famous, award-winning French author who knew her mother; and a sect of group and boys who all seem most some-more during palliate with their bodies and sex expostulate than Carre’s Caroline. A Best Screenplay leader during a new San Sebastian film festival, this surprising and frothy comedy-drama should be an appealing — if maybe not that simply commercial — tender for arthouse distributors used to doing French fare.

When Caroline (Carre) finally arrives during a enormous home of her disloyal mom in a farming Languedoc segment to arrange out a latter’s wake details, she finds dual group exposed in a outside pool. A simple, speechless gesticulate shows how worried she is with a whole situation: Before vocalization to these strangers, Caroline lowers her sunglasses from her conduct onto her nose, so there’s literally a separator between her eyes and all that floppy, wet masculine nakedness. Everyday gestures such as these uncover how mindful Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu (To Paint or Make Love, Love Is a Perfect Crime) are and how most their mise-en-scene depends on tangible tellurian function that can be skilfully visible rather than categorically verbal.

But not to worry, this isn’t a kind of French film where no one talks. Quite a contrary. Mom’s worldly cleaning woman, Pattie (Viard), is a motor-mouthed and fond over-sharer who immediately tries to build a form of cognisance with a daughter of her former employer by articulate about her passionate exploits, including those with a hardly distinct though oh-so-good-in-the-sack encampment oddball (Lavant). If intolerable for a comparatively indifferent person, it is distinct function from Pattie, given a fact that Caroline’s mother, Isabelle or Zsa Zsa (Mathilde Monnier), was also something of a licentious — though her adult daughter turns out to be zero like her during all. However, a open and candid proceed to sexuality does seem to run in Pattie’s family: Her large 18-year-old, Kamil (Jules Ritmanic), can’t take his eyes of off Caroline and has problems gripping his shirt on around her.

Though hormones light adult frequently and unclothed strength is on a menu several times, a film never becomes an undisguised sex imitation a la some of Bertrand Blier’s progressing works. Instead, a Larrieus, who also wrote a screenplay, wish to try both sex and death, and to structure their ideas, they’ve selected a candid though really effective account throughline involving a disappearance of Zsa Zsa’s body, a night before a funeral. This causes a internal military investigator (Laurent Poitrenaux) to come adult with theories involving possibly a former partner who couldn’t partial with a defunct or a tip suitor who has finally motionless that this is their possibility to have their proceed with Caroline’s mother.

Though potentially hair-raising and icky, a Larrieus hoop this element with patience and even flair, frequently anticipating opportunities for amusement and sex — or mostly, as befits a French film, articulate about sex rather than indeed carrying it. Making things even some-more formidable is a introduction of an puzzling comparison gentleman, Jean (Dussolier). A writer by trade who has come down to a encampment for Zsa Zsa’s funeral, Jean apparently had a flattering critical hurl with a now-dead lady years ago. But is he a think or an aged friend?

Though Pattie is not a whodunit in a clarity that a fortitude is a film’s income shot, a poser during a story’s core does entice viewers to cruise any character’s function some-more carefully, that in spin draws a assembly deeper into this surprising impression investigate and manages to even make a some-more illusory twists in a film’s latter reels fly. That said, a film does go a small bit Return of a King in terms of how many endings it seems to have.

Though (or maybe because) the leads have played identical characters before, their behaving is effective and precise. Carre finds a right change between romantic and earthy privacy and her character’s differently eager disposition, while Viard and Ritmanic, as her erotic son, simply ooze sex pheromones. The ancillary cast, lead by Lavant and a equally acquire impression actor Philippe Rebbot, is filled with fascinating faces.

Beautiful locations and ditto camerawork are a standouts of a all-round plain qualification contributions.  

Opens in France: Nov. 25 (in San Sebastian, London film festivals)

Production companies: Arena Films, Pyramide Productions

Cast: Isabelle Carre, Karin Viard, Denis Lavant, Andre Dussolier, Philippe Rebbot, Jules Ritmanic, Laurent Poitrenaux, Mathilde Monnier, Sergi Lopez

Writer-Directors: Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu

Producers: Francis Boespflug, Bruno Pesery

Director of photography: Yannick Ressigeac

Production designer: Stephane Levy

Costume designer: Maira Ramedhan-Levi

Editor: Annette Dutetre

Sales: Pathe International

No rating, 115 minutes