30 March 2013 | vostf
Perfectly encompasses the various aspects of Audiard's talent
This documentary is a wonderful homage to Michel Audiard and the iconic stature he achieved: a dialogue wordsmith who was as bankable - and even sometimes more bankable - than the stars in the movie. He was often dismissed as a shrewd journeyman with style by the high-brow types of the New Wave, and basically that it was all too easy to come up with sharp lines with a cast comprised of such heavy-weights as Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura, Bernard Blier, J-P Belmondo...
That his work was dismissed as fodder for old-school directors - as opposed to the New Wave directors who BTW are almost entirely forgotten today - is central to the narration. As we discover how much of a secretive old chap Audiard was, we start to empathise with him beyond the mere gratitude for all the zingers and one-liners and memorable scenes he gave us. In the end we understand the intensely talented man who was having it easy because he didn't feel self-confident and who, deep inside, was a very pessimistic man not expecting much from mankind. And that is why he had such a sharp sense of humour, just to hide himself and his pathologic anxiety.
Very much recommended for all who would not look down on all of Michel Audiard's filmography. This enthralling documentary uses relatively few movie excerpts, just for adequate illustration, and it is quite an achievement to keep us engaged with a series of interviews with old people (all the more valuable as most died in the years following this documentary).