‘Saint Amour': Berlin Review

Gerard Depardieu reteams with his ‘Mammuth’ directors, Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern, for this dramedy co-starring Benoit Poelvoorde and Vincent Lacoste.

It was unavoidable that someone would finish adult one day creation a French movement on Sideways, crisscrossing a nation from one booze segment to a other. But Saint Amour, named after a Burgundy wine, is doubtful to presumably turn an awards magnet film or even be deliberate a respectful dramedy. For those informed with a gleefully anarchic suggestion of writer-directors Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern, whose prior films embody Aaltra, Mammuth and Louise-Michel, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. And that informed suggestion is again benefaction here, with Saint Amour reuniting dual of a helmers’ unchanging actors (and Le Grand Soir co-stars) Gerard Depardieu and Benoit Poelvoorde, for their favorite genre: a anything-goes highway movie. Willfully childish, surreal, pell-mell and spasmodic hilarious, a film is wholly of a square with their oeuvre, even yet their latest struggles to be touching as good as funny. In terms of placement prospects, this should follow in a footsteps of a duo’s prior work.

Jean (Depardieu) and Bruno (Poelvoorde) are a father-and-son group of cattle farmers who are attending an rural trade satisfactory in a French collateral with what they’ll wish will turn a esteem bull. But Bruno isn’t remotely meddlesome in tillage or rural life anymore, instead unresolved out with his friend and associate alcoholic, Thierry (played by Kervern), in a gymnasium where winemakers from all over France offer giveaway tastings. Perhaps his disinterest has something to do with a fact his mother, and Jean’s wife, recently upheld away, yet as with many of a component involving a (potential) middle lives of a characters, that’s never utterly stated.

The early going was shot during an tangible fair, where Bruno and Thierry wish to finish a debate de France of all a wine-growing areas by celebration their proceed from counter to booth. But these scenes feel mostly makeshift and are not all that funny, with a timing frequently off a kick or so. (Perhaps improved takes weren’t accessible given it can’t have been easy to fire with large French stars during a outrageous eventuality in Paris open to a ubiquitous public.)

Things start to demeanour adult when Jean, a teetotaler given Bruno’s birth, decides that father and son need to go on an tangible debate of all of France’s wine-growing regions, that they do with a assistance of Mike (Vincent Lacoste), a rather rare and fond 24-year-old cab motorist from Paris. (Thierry isn’t listened of again.) The doubtful highway outing that follows is selected Delepine/Kervern, with crazy ideas and startling characters following any other in fast succession. Indeed, it is not startling that many of their films are in this format, given a road-trip film is one of a few genres that can make a sketch-like proceed to account nonetheless feel healthy (they also write sketches for French TV and sketches seem to be their forte).

Highlights embody a stay during a bed and breakfast run by a snoring provincial (author-philosopher and Near Death Experience star Michel Houellebecq, creatively slated to play Mike); a assembly with a clueless waitress (Solene Rigot) during a seafood grill who’s disturbed ill about income — there’s a waggish punchline involving billions of Euros — and an oversexed realtor (Ovidie, a mono-monikered former porn star) who uses a physique of one of a group to get behind during a lover.

Most of these scenes work as brief stand-alone items, involving any multiple of a 3 leads. But a film doesn’t utterly conduct to bond these lax elements to a masculine protagonists’ feelings or any overarching story, with Bruno’s dearth with women, for example, some-more mostly played for laughs than as a potentially humorous sign of a psychological problem or impression trait. Similarly, Mike’s passionate bravery is zero though a punchline-in-waiting until a contingent ends adult during a holiday park full of tree houses, where an orange-haired prophesy called Venus (Celine Sallette, personification a purpose creatively dictated for Tilda Swinton), who is pang from beforehand menopause, wants to have her final egg impregnated. 

Because Depardieu is usually 16 years comparison than his Belgian colleague, he sports a grey grandfather cut that takes a small while to get used to (just like Meryl Streep’s ‘do in The Devil Wears Prada). And a actor, who utterly headlined a directors’ motorbike road-trip film Mammuth, is wholly in his element, as is Poelvoorde, who is here on his fifth partnership with a filmmakers. The duo’s inherited rapport during slightest partially creates adult for a film’s miss of seductiveness in or occasional awkwardness about a characters’ emotions. Lacoste, good famous in France for roles in comedies such as The French Kissers, Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia and Julie Delpy’s new Lolo, is a good fit as well, with his babyface assisting to advise that a film is something of a demeanour during 3 generations of Frenchmen grappling with wine, women and bizarre occurrences.

As in many of their other films, members of a conflicting sex are some-more anticipation objects and/or a boundary of jokes than even vaguely tangible tellurian beings. Actresses such as Ana Girardot, as dual preppy twins, one of that is mercilessly vengeful; Chiara Mastroianni, as a roadside pizza seller; and Izia Higelin, as an ex of Mike’s who won a lottery in terms of how many diseases she’s pang from all during once, all have small personality. In a box of a latter two, they aren’t even featured in scenes that are utterly peculiar or funny. Sexuality, too, is something that’s used to make fun of some-more than offer insight, with an intriguing spirit about Bruno presumably being bisexual — which competence assistance explain his rather obscure rapport with women and sex — usually used for a cross-dressing fun (as if all bisexuals were cross-dressers). Despite a title, that can be roughly translated as “Saintly Love” as well, a film never utterly manages to make any matter about adore and appreciation between a sexes, with a adore between a father and his son especially resplendent by given of a friendly performances.

The demeanour of Saint Amour is rather pedestrian, with a peculiarity of a component shot on a fly during a rural satisfactory indeed mediocre. Sebastien Tellier’s score, however, is richly illusory and so becomes another item in assisting to give a film during slightest some romantic heft.  

Production companies: JPG Films, No Money Productions, Nexus Factory
Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Benoit Poelvoorde, Vincent Lacoste, Celine Sallette, Gustave Kervern, Solene Rigot, Michel Houellebecq, Izia Higelin, Ovidie, Andrea Ferreol, Chiara Mastroianni, Ana Girardot, Mahault Mollaret
Writer-Directors: Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern
Producers: Jean-Pierre Guerin, Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern
Co-producers: Sylvain Goldberg, Serge De Poucques
Director of photography: Hugues Poulain
Production designer: Madphil
Costume designer: Florence Laforge
Editor: Stephane Elmadjian
Music: Sebastien Tellier
Sales: Le Pacte

No rating, 101 minutes

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