Deerskin Revue – The deadpan French horror comedy is just the bright side of the unbearable | Movies

WWhen you hear someone say that this or that movie could only be from the French film industry, it tends to mean an incredibly sophisticated metropolitan comedy of intellectuals having dinner and extramarital sex. Usually doesn’t mean a gruesome story about a middle-aged man suffering from midlife depression resulting in a psychotic obsession with his new buckskin jacket, which he says speaks to him and essentially encourages him to kill. people. But that’s the case with this completely bizarre, uncompromising and intensely French horror comedy from filmmaker Quentin Dupieux, who is a DJ known as Mr Oizo and which had huge success in 1999 with Flat Beat. He also got the shape with the creation of bizarre movies about inanimate objects reaching an odd meaning: Rubber, from 2010, was about a rubber tire that comes to life and (inevitably) kills people.

Deerskin, however, would be nothing without his lead role: the strangely poignant figure of Jean Dujardin, who became a world-class player 10 years ago with the Oscar-winning silent film tribute to Michel Hazanavicius The Artist: he had also shown that he had acting skills with his appearance in the OSS 117 spy films. Since then, perhaps because of his indifference to mastering English, Dujardin has become a non-exporting French star, but in Deerskin he achieved a strange sort of complexity and maturity. He plays Georges, a grotesque guy who, in a way as innocent as a child, although particularly obnoxious, has no idea what is happening to him. Apparently having separated from his wife, he travels to a remote part of France to buy a buckskin jacket for an absurdly large sum of money from someone who advertised it online. Although it is clearly too small and too short for him, the fringed jacket absolutely thrills Georges, and he is also delighted with the “bonus” his original owner gave him: a digital video camera.

Once entrenched in a local hotel, Georges befriends Denise (Adèle Haenel) who works behind the bar and, discovering that she is an amateur editor, persuades her to help him edit the film he has. decided to do and make a living. savings at his disposal, all with no idea what a filmmaker is doing. But he has a concept: inspired by his belief in the absolute superiority of his beloved buckskin jacket, and the associated belief that no one else in the world should be allowed to wear a jacket of any kind, he nevertheless sets out to shoot a documentary of people who throw away their jackets, and then he kills them.

Everything is very wacky, quirky, and weird, and with a different cast it could have been unbearable. To be honest, he’s pretty close to being unbearable the way he is. But Dujardin – with his large, open and handsome face, a little weathered by time and a very aging beard – sells it. There is something charming, sad, scary and hilarious about him, all at the same time, as he pretends to be a great film director in front of Denise and reveals with every word what a sociopath and an impostor he is. is actually. And Haenel is also excellent, playing him completely straight.

Soon, Georges will acquire a suede hat and sleek suede pants: a complete suede outfit that he wears everywhere like Hannibal Lecter wearing the skin of his victims. In fact, the film itself, with its faded beige palette, has a buckskin look. And where are the police in all of this or the media, given that his murders are amateurish and more or less undisguised? They are nowhere. Their absence is part of the deadpan effect of the film. The richness and the strangeness of the comedy are in a way simply due to the serious and haughty face of Dujardin.

Deerskin hits theaters on July 16.

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