- 1h 27m
In the summer, 27 year-old Sam drives towards the south of France in his Ford. He meets Matthieu and his sister Léa and takes them along in his apparently aimless journey. Matthieu has a cru... Read allIn the summer, 27 year-old Sam drives towards the south of France in his Ford. He meets Matthieu and his sister Léa and takes them along in his apparently aimless journey. Matthieu has a crush on Sam and tries to seduce him. Lea is a beautiful, young, provocative girl who likes m... Read allIn the summer, 27 year-old Sam drives towards the south of France in his Ford. He meets Matthieu and his sister Léa and takes them along in his apparently aimless journey. Matthieu has a crush on Sam and tries to seduce him. Lea is a beautiful, young, provocative girl who likes men so much that she got pregnant. She soon brings along Jérémie with them. Throughout the ... Read all
Admiration for the Director
Sebastien Lifshitz is a fine director, and I hold him in the highest esteem. ' Les Invisibles ' is a truly great documentary, and ' Presque Rien ' is equally rewarding to watch. I have tried to like ' Plein Sud ' and watched it three times. I respect it for dealing with childhood trauma and how it can ruin a life, and make feelings towards others grow cold. Yannick Renier gives a good performance as the character witnessing his father's suicide and then blaming his mother, played by the extraodinary actor Nicole Garcia ( the best actor in the film. ) After three viewings I hoped for a redemptive ending, and the final images are ambiguous. Essentially this film is a journey down to Spain to visit his mother, but what happens there appears to me too unforgiving. Renier is good, but gives a too cold performance and the more I watched the film I disliked his cold heart. I understood the trauma, but there is an arrogance in him to move more than a few inches towards others that repelled me. His treatment towards his male lover ( Theo Frilet ) is appalling to watch, and so is the treatment meted out to this young man in the film. Theo Frlet is shown as being abused physically by others, including Renier himself and this bordered on Gay bashing. He is also denigrated verbally too often for my liking, and Lifshitz is pitiless on showing how Renier cruelly abandons him. I missed Frilet when he left the film, and he had the same effect on me as Lea Seydoux has for others. A beautiful actor in every sense he deserved a more positively conceived role. Perhaps the director in Renier's treatment towards him wanted to show how the cold heart can murder the souls of others, but I refuse to go along with a lot of what I saw in that treatment. One reviewer here mentions it is of ' Gay interest '. I disagree. For heterosexuals it may seem so, and sadly Lifshitz seduces the audience with a brash opening of the actor Lea Seydoux sexually exciting ( the viewers ) and the emotionally and perhaps impotent Renier. I must put this into context. The film not only has flashbacks to Renier's past as adolescent and child, but also attempts a ' road movie ' with Renier taking on board Lea Seydoux as his male lover's sister. She in turn picks up and takes along with them a very nasty, homophobic young man she physically desires. Confused ? I hope so as the film's focus at the start of the film is Leydoux, doing her crude imitation of a Bardot dance and then shots of her unborn child in the womb. This is the luggage that Renier carries with him as he travels towards Spain and a meeting with his mother. En route we have lots of fun in the sea and male nude exhibitionism which adds nothing to the driving force of the film, and neither does the nervous camera that jumps around excitedly. I have no idea why all this luggage had to be there other than to entice in an essentially heterosexual audience. Saddening to a Gay/Queer audience who would have expected more from the director who made ' Presque Rien ' and ' Les Invisibles ' both more concentrated than this overloaded scenario. That said the film is excellent on emotional child abuse, and the presence of Nicole Garcia who gives a radiance towards the end lacking elsewhere. And thank you Lifshitz for Micheline Presle as the grandmother to Renier's role. This film could have been a great film, but by some strange reason I cannot fathom why it is not. Troubling, excellent in part, and well worth viewing for the great scenes in it from a fine director.
- Feb 19, 2021
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