Our review of Robuste: the breath of Depardieu ignites an inspired first film

CRITICAL – Constance Meyer stages the improbable encounter between a tired old actor and a solitary security guard. With elegance and discretion, she captures the birth of a singular friendship.

It is a surprising first film, as tender as it is ambitious. A cinematographic nugget that opened Critics’ Week in Cannes last summer. Robust depicts an old actor on the decline (Gérard Depardieu, larger than life) who lives for a few months with a substitute security guard who takes care of him, sometimes a bodyguard, sometimes a babysitter or even a coach…

The young Constance Meyer captures the loneliness of an actor who slowly detaches himself from the world. Aïssa, (Deborah Lukumuena, seen in divine, The Invisibles) holds out his hand to him without ceasing to use the formal address.

Between the images, we understand that this young director knew how to tame the ogre Depardieu, a fragile mountain. In 2005, when she was only in her twenties, she breathed her text for five months into the earpiece of the great Gérard on the stage of La Madeleine in a play by Henry James adapted by Marguerite Duras, The Beast in the Jungle, with Fanny Ardant. When it came to shooting his…

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