CRITICAL – The director of Do not tell anyone and Small Handkerchiefs unveils his seventh film, the most personal, the result of an impulse born during confinement. A therapy from its author, director … and performer.
A silhouette advances in the dark to the first row. “I came to thank you personally”, we suddenly hear in the cinema hall of the Pathé Wepler in Paris. Surprised, the thirty spectators who came to attend, Wednesday, October 26, at 1:30 p.m., the screening of Him, wonder who is disrupting their session. A cell phone light comes on. He’s the director of Him. Guillaume Canet, in the flesh. “I find it hard to leave this film. Thank you for being here ”, he throws before spinning as he came.
Guillaume Canet in the room, Guillaume Canet on screen, and even Guillaume Canet playing with Guillaume Canet. He is everywhere at the same time, and for good reason: this film is therefore him and not another, even if in all his interviews, the actor and director claims the opposite. Three weeks were enough for the writing and four to shoot it on Belle Île. A film born from an impulse that is as expeditious to do as it is long and painful to watch.
The subject ? The inspiration breakdown and the family neuroses of a music composer. A creator, like him … To solve his problems, and try to find peace, he summons the memories of his wife (Impeccable Virginie Efira), his mistress (Lætitia Casta), his best friend (Mathieu Kassovitz), his parents (Nathalie Baye and Patrick Chesnais) and his son. All are far from this Breton refuge where he has decided to isolate himself, but they populate his head.
Most of the “intrigue” takes place in a house with blue shutters, damaged by the spray. He is therefore going through a period of sweet madness, failing to commit the irreparable. By repainting his shutters (the same color as his shirt), and by tuning the piano on which he must compose new pieces, he repairs life. This therapy, as authentic and personal as it is, remains very complicated to follow. It is difficult to cling to the battles of the main character. If he doesn’t love himself, how can we love him in this 1.5-hour lock-up? A real dilemma!
The talent of supporting roles does not change anything. Not even the moving monologue of Virginie Efira at the end, nor the moments of suspense and tension that Guillaume Canet tries to install through Guillaume Canet’s paranoia. No, definitely, we are terribly bored with Him.
A few staging ideas punctuate this story. But they remain unfinished. Guillaume Canet is inspired by the cinema of Bertrand Blier, as in this scene where three actors (the husband, his wife and his lover?) Find themselves in the same bed or in this dialogue between the composer and his evil double, a knife stuck in the torso. But from the director of Cold buffet, he has neither the letters, nor the spirit.
Cinema, theater, music … The student journalists ofIPJ, the Practical Institute of Journalism of the University of Paris Dauphine , offer their perspective on cultural news.