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Valeria Bruni Tedeschi returns to her beginnings in the theater with a cheesy and affected film


The Franco-Italian director tiptoes past her characters in 'Les Amandiers'. The 'thriller' 'Holy spider', by Ali Abbasi, delves into the underworld of Iran and its impunity against women

Les Amandiers

is clearly a memory of the youth of the Franco-Italian actress and director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.

It tells the story of a performer in her first years of apprenticeship at the school created by Patrice Chéreau and Pierre Romans at the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre.

It is set in the eighties and has more than obvious parallels with

The Souvenir

(2019), the extraordinary self-fiction by the British Joanna Hogg.

Although saying it wrong and soon she won't even reach the sole of her shoes.

The protagonist of

Les Amandiers

is a young upper-class woman who lives alone (or so it seems) in a luxury apartment with the only company, alas, of the butler.

The young woman enters the prestigious Chéreau theater school in the midst of the outbreak of heroin and AIDS and the film focuses on her love story with a junkie classmate.

A handsome, talented, lower-class young man who appreciates her healthy, white, rich-girl teeth.

Les Amandiers

is reminiscent of too many well-known films but without succeeding in being any, such as the aforementioned work by Joanna Hogg, the musical drama


or that intimacy that Casavettes' cinema pursues.

Some similarities that remain on the surface of a hollow and impressionistic film in the worst sense.

Everything is capricious: the discovery of what it is to be an actress, of the theater and of some teachers who, despite the intended elegiac tone, are today very problematic.

Bruni Tedeschi's portrayal of Patrice Chéreau, played by Louis Garrell, looks like a reckoning that wouldn't pass the cotton test today.

The worst thing is not the lines that he gets between rehearsal and rehearsal, but the insinuations of harassment of his students or his despotic character.

It is surprising that in some statements the director speaks of a tribute to the late idol of French cinema and theater.

She sounds like a joke.

With a major

ego trip

, Bruni Tedeschi tiptoes through his characters without going beyond plywood emotions to end up as a corny, affected and very self-indulgent portrait of the age of innocence of a miserable rich girl.

At one point in her film, her boyfriend steals her purse and her character is involuntarily portrayed: she could steal it a thousand times more.

And the central theme, the passion for the theater, is banal, with all the possible clichés about a skin-deep and torn vocation.

To make matters worse, the play they are rehearsing is


by Chekhov, and having a larger work like

Drive My Car, by

Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, too close, it is almost unbearable to see how the Russian author continues to be groped in vain.

Honestly, a job as exciting as that of an actor doesn't deserve so much cornyness or so many commonplaces.

From left to right, director Ali Abbasi, actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, actor Mehdi Bajestani, and producer Jacob Jarek in Cannes upon arrival for the screening of the film 'Holy Spider'. LOIC VENANCE (AFP)

Tehran Police Woman

The other film in competition was the


Holy Spider,

by the Danish of Iranian origin Ali Abbasi.

The director of


enters the underworld of the Iranian city of Mashhad, where a serial killer savagely liquidates prostitutes.

Abbasi chooses a woman, a journalist, as a counterpoint to the ferocious patriarchy he portrays.

A woman who arrives from Tehran to investigate a case that doesn't seem to worry anyone much.

Holy Spider

is a dark and nocturnal film, well acted and with a disturbing pace from the start.

A crude portrait of the hideous world of prostitution in a country where women's lives are worth nothing.

The sleaze of the film is total, but manages to do enough balance to not be completely free.

And it's also interesting when he delves into a corrupt police and judicial system that icily perpetuates an endless chain of horror.

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Source: elparis

All life articles on 2022-05-23

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