“Deception”, “The Card Counter”, “The King’s Man. First mission »… The films to see (or not) this week

♥♥♥ Deception

French drama by Arnaud Desplechin, with Denis Podalydès, Léa Seydoux, Emmanuelle Devos (1h45).

A convinced follower of Philip Roth, as the first name of one of his heroes in several films attests, Nathan (borrowed from the one the American author considers his double: Nathan Zuckerman), Arnaud Desplechin revolved around “Tromperie” , text published in 1990, a long time ago. He takes us into the office of Philip (Denis Podalydès), Jewish American novelist exiled in London and verb fetishist, who is both the psychoanalysis office and the bedroom since every afternoon his English lover (Léa Seydoux ), trapped in a loveless marriage, comes to find her there.

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They sleep there, a little, make conversation, a lot – the lava of the senses leading to that of words -, on the desire, the exile or the supposed anti-Semitism of the English, while breaking the minimalist theatrical device of this camera. thanks to the memories, the phone calls and the ramblings of Philip: ex-conquests struggling with death (Emmanuelle Devos) or with madness (Rebecca Marder), dreamed or real women (Anouk Grinberg in the role of the wife ), reminiscences of his travels in Eastern Europe. The result is a sensual film, a profession of cinematic faith in which one thinks of Bergman and Truffaut, where the actresses, all exceptional, are magnified by the photo of Yorick Le Saux, where the torrent of wonderful dialogues (“When I found you, you were ripe. – No, I was rotting at the foot of the tree ”) gives way to more funny lines: “You are the Albert Schweitzer of the fuck. “

Arnaud Desplechin adapts “Tromperie”: “Like Philip Roth, I advance masked”

But Arnaud Desplechin also splits the armor by staging the lawsuit brought against Philip by a feminist court. Roth was accused of vampirizing the lives of the women he rubbed shoulders with, the filmmaker of “Kings and Queen” of exploiting that of actress Marianne Denicourt (as she recounted in a book co-authored with Judith Perrignon, ” Bad genius ”) or his own family. Should we see in this farce scene a form of response? Philip struggles like hell against these accusations in the name of artistic freedom. Anyway, in an overwhelming and conjuring final sequence, the English lover declines Philip’s offer to be her Nausicaa, and prefers to take on the role of Homer. In other words, to finally become your own narrator. Sophie grassin

♥♥ The Card Counter

American drama by Paul Schrader, with Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish (1h52).

William Tell, ex-torturer at Abu Ghraib, is a gifted card maker: a real human computer, he knows how to calculate chances and hazards. Haunted by a bloody past, he takes under his wing a young student who is the son of another executioner. Together, they will tour the small casinos of suburban America. Paul Schrader, ex-screenwriter of Scorsese, steeped in Christianity, charred by the idea of ​​redemption, tracks down sin and refers to Robert Bresson. Here, he hunts two hares at the same time, the memory of the war and the passion for poker. We have the impression of seeing two separate films, but the part devoted to the game is fascinating. And the atmosphere, unforgettable. Francois Forestier

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♥♥ Lamb

Icelandic fantasy drama by Valdimar Jóhannsson, with Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur, Haraldsson (1h46).

A farm lost in the Nordic mountains. A couple of breeders monopolizes the offspring of one of their sheep and raises it like their child. Half-beast, half-girl, this one is soon called back to nature. Smoke, it’s Icelandic! Here, animals look more human than men, parents bruised by mourning and driven by their instinct for survival. We would like to know the local legends that permeates this first extraordinary film to better appreciate its mystery and the contemplative rhythm. Domestic tale or transhumanist nightmare? For sure, there is a filmmaker and an actress (Noomi Rapace) who are not afraid of anything. Nicolas schaller

Noomi Rapace, on “Lamb” poster: “All my roles are myself”

♥♥♥ The King’s Man. First mission

American adventure film by Matthew Vaughn, with Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton (2h11).

A nice success. After two successful films (“Secret Services”, 2015, and “the Golden Circle”, 2017), here is the prequel. We witness the birth of the vocation of secret agent of the Duke of Oxford, just before the war of 14. His adventures will lead him to fight Rasputin, cross the path of Gavrilo Princip, unmask Mata Hari, oppose Kitchener (inventor of the concentration camps) and save British royalty. It’s inventive, often very funny, sometimes moving and perfectly paced. This James Bond Old England, played by Ralph Fiennes ticks all the boxes of the adventure story. F. F.

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♥♥ Our best years

Italian dramatic comedy by Gabriele Muccino, with Pierfrancesco Favino, Micaela Ramazzotti, Kim Rossi Stuart (2h15).

But what fly stung the director? Why make a remake of this masterpiece that is “We loved each other so much”? By following the crossed destinies of four friends, from their university years to their middle age, it is a whole part of recent history that we rediscover, and also the disillusion of a generation (We wanted to change the world, it’s the world that changed us). Loves follow one another, friendships fade away, happiness is fleeting. The film is sympathetic, but Gabriele Muccino does not have the grace of Ettore Scola. F. F.

♥♥ The Test

French comedy by Emmanuel Poulain-Arnaud, with Alexandra Lamy, Philippe Katerine, Matteo Perez (1h20).

The discovery of a positive pregnancy test sows doubts and questions in a family at the top of which reigns the mother, always overwhelmed, never overwhelmed. After the excellent “les Cobayes” and the series “3615 Monique”, Emmanuel Poulain-Arnaud confirms a real talent in the (very ravaged) register of French comedy. His sense of rhythm is unstoppable and his art of misunderstanding, light and greedy like chocolate mousse. Without forgetting a formidable direction of actors with, at the head of the poster, the impeccable duo Philippe Katerine and Alexandra Lamy. The nice surprise of this end of the year. Xavier Leherpeur

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♥♥♥ The Children of the Sun

Iranian drama by Majid Majidi, with Rouhollah Zamani, Ali Nassirian, Javad Ezati (1h39).

Children left to fend for themselves survive plundering in the streets of Tehran. They are hired by a thief to unearth a treasure buried under a school. Between a heist film and naturalistic fiction about abused childhood, the author of “Children of the Sky” pays homage to “Treasure Island” and to Dickens. Morality, expected (the real treasure is education), is deferred in favor of a story of urban adventures credible enough in its execution to be socially just and politically worrying. X. L.

♥♥ Next Door

German black comedy by Daniel Brühl, with Daniel Brühl, Peter Kurth, Rike Eckermann (1h32).

About to leave for London, Daniel, an actor, goes to have a drink in the bistro in front of his house. There, he meets Bruno, a neighbor, who, in the conversation, slips mysterious innuendo. Gradually, it turns out that this guy spies the whole life of Daniel and his wife. The confrontation becomes explosive. Is Bruno a mad sadist, a temperamental persecutor or the devil himself? Fascinating behind closed doors, written by Daniel Kehlmann, young author of the excellent “Tyll Ulespiègle” (Actes Sud), this first film by Daniel Brühl as director is a sardonic portrait of Berlin, a bastard city where the ghosts of Germany from the ‘Is still lurking. F. F.

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Daniel Brühl: “I consider myself to be an actor who has directed a film, that’s all”

♥♥♥ Beautiful

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Japanese animated film by Mamoru Hosoda (2h02).

His previous films, including “The Boy and the Beast”, have placed Hosoda among the masters of Japanese animation. This flamboyant variation around “Beauty and the Beast” and Disney adaptations, propels it a step further. An introverted teenager, Suzu is a social media star thanks to her avatar, Belle. A success threatened by the appearance of a virtual and disturbing beast. If we find the author’s favorite themes (violence against children, the loss of innocence, the pretenses of virtual universes), the screenplay revisits them with a new dimension. Here, the graphic power sublimates the story. X. L.

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