“Vortex”, “Revenge of the Glitter Shrimp”… Reviews of films in theaters this week


6:00 p.m., April 9, 2022

Vortex ***

By Gaspar Noé, with Françoise Lebrun, Dario Argento, Alex Lutz. 2:22.

A retired couple in Paris: she is struck by Alzheimer’s disease which is gradually gaining ground, tries to manage this daily life as best she can, despite her failing health. The opening scene, sublime and poignant, attests to the isolation of the characters when the director chooses to split the screen in two (the split screen process), in order to follow each person’s point of view and listen to the growing discrepancy that leads to an inevitable epilogue. In this chronicle irrigated by melancholy, the square 1:1 format expresses the confinement of these two individuals completely disoriented by what is happening to them in naturalistic and experimental sequence shots, ranging from black and white to color, with a power stunning visual, narrative and emotional. Françoise Lebrun, Italian director Dario Argento and Alex Lutz, who plays their distraught son, are all three exceptional. SB

Revenge of the Glitter Shrimp ***

By Cédric Le Gallo and Maxime Govare with Nicolas Cob, David Baiot, Romain Lancry. 1h53.

As they fly to the Gay Games in Tokyo with a talented but very straight new teammate, the happy gay water polo gang misses their connection in Russia and finds themselves in forced transit in a country not really known for its openness of spirit… We are happy to find the always (very) extroverted personalities of these losers in Speedos, whose screenwriters dig deeper into the psychology. More ambitious in its staging and its effects, this sequel has the good idea to try its hand at action comedy by confronting them with opponents as low on the forehead as they are strong, and whom the news makes even less pleasant. Without forgetting replies always full of humor, as well as a discourse on tolerance and identity which gains in depth. LV

And there was a morning **

By Eran Kolirin, with Alex Bachri, Juna Suleiman. 1h41.

Sami attends his brother’s wedding in his childhood village. The next day, the Israeli army surrounded the place without explanation, preventing him from returning to his home in Jerusalem. Through this absurd situation by bringing others who are no less absurd, the director of La Visite de la fanfare testifies to the consequences of a desperate status quo on a people in need of bearings while probing the hearts of his characters well. drawn and embodied. He presses where it hurts, but with delicacy and intelligence, through a tragicomic fable where the general and the particular intertwine. Bap.T.

Fantastic Beasts Dumbledore’s Secrets **

By David Yates, with Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen. 2h23.

Professor Albus Dumbledore, who heads the Hogwarts school of magic, faces the worst test of his life: opposing the Machiavellian project of his great lost love, Gellert Grindewald, who wants to burn down the Muggle world… The third part of the spin -off of Harry Potter sets the action in 1930s Germany and uses the rise of Nazism to denounce totalitarianism. The script gets lost in its twists and turns, but we are carried away by the marvelous universe imagined by JK Rowling and by the tragic romanticism of the gay couple who are torn apart, formed by Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen. SB

Let’s go children **

By Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai. 1h54.

In Paris, the public high school Turgot, in the 3rd arrondissement, welcomes students from all walks of life around a common passion: hip-hop. After pornography (Rocco) and religion (Lourdes), the Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai tandem have produced a documentary on young people in difficulty, alternating interviews in front of the camera, daily scenes in the classroom and dance battles. As close as possible to endearing teenagers, all driven by the desire to win. A portrait filled with benevolence and humanism, with a story that sometimes stretches, but fascinating in its transcription of this cosmopolitan microcosm. SB

In the shadow of girls **

By Etienne Comar with Alex Lutz, Veerle Baetens, Hafsia Herzi. 1h46.

A renowned lyrical singer but in full questioning after the death of his father, Luc decides to put his talent at the service of others by participating in a singing workshop in a detention center for women. Not all come to give voice for the same reasons… Always very fair in the complexity, Alex Lutz carries this societal chronicle, sensitive but without surprise, in front of a group of girls with a very assertive character. We feel the freedom of body and mind that they find by going to find the notes deep inside them, we understand the importance of art to escape confinement. LV

To Chiara **

By Jonas Carpignano, with Swamy Rotolo, Claudio Rotolo. 2:01.

Without news of her father, Chiara, a Calabrian teenager, leads the investigation. She discovers her links with the ‘Ndrangheta, the local mafia. After Mediterranea and A Ciambra, Jonas Carpignano concludes his triptych on the city of Gioia Tauro by once again surrounding himself with non-professional actors very close to their characters. On the strength of this documentary approach, his initiatory story, gripping if not successful, darkens as his heroine, remarkably interpreted, progresses in the investigation. Until flirting with the thriller, but without making any concession to fiction in its description of mafia practices. Bap.T.

In front of the sea **

By Ely Dagher, with Manal Issa, Roger Azar. 1h56.

Jana returns to Beirut after several years of absence. She finds her parents there, then her ex. Prefiguring the consequences of the disaster of 2020, this bewitching first film plunges the viewer into a foggy and depopulated capital. A ghost town or almost in which his character wanders just as depressed without the reasons for his return being explained. If some shots stretch unnecessarily, the director skilfully exploits the sad decor by deploying a heavy atmosphere reflecting the feelings of a people who are struggling to envisage the future in a country that has long been on the brink of the abyss. Bap.T

The Last Piano *

By Jimmy Keyrouz, with Tarek Yaacoub, Rola Beksmati, Mounir Maasri. 1h50.

In a district of Syria under the yoke of the Islamic State, a talented pianist puts his dreams of Europe on hold to repair his piano destroyed by terrorists. Between naturalist chronicle and action film, this first feature film with polished photography describes a world that is collapsing but resisting, like music that is forbidden but a source of hope. With the complicity of melodies ready to move Gabriel Yared, the Lebanese director Jimmy Keyrouz nevertheless loads his boat with sometimes caricatural characters and improbable twists. S.J.

Under the wing of angels *

By AJ Edwards with Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke, Brit Marling, 1h33.

Abraham Lincoln’s childhood, in the splendid forests of Kentucky, was marked by painful mourning and held in check by a stern father, but saved by loving accomplices. A close collaborator of Terrence Malick, from whom he borrows headlong the elegiac style and strong aestheticism, the director claims, here, an austere lyricism with silent and touching characters, a sensory gospel side lit by candlelight. The black and white photography is beautiful, ultra neat, but the sudden movements of the camera and the systematic low-angle shots are abused and end up giving the impression of a somewhat pointless pastoral, of a counterproductive photo novel. AC


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