© NFP/Filmwelt

Das zweite Leben des Monsieur Alain (Un homme pressé)
France 2018

Opening 22 Aug 2019

Directed by: Hervé Mimran
Writing credits: Hélène Fillières, Hervé Mimran, Christian Streiff
Principal actors: Fabrice Luchini, Leïla Bekhti, Rebecca Marder, Igor Gotesman, Clémence Massart-Weit

Alain Warpler (Fabrice Luchini) lives in a villa with his daughter Julia (Rebecca Marder), who attends university. He occasionally gives lectures to students in her class. Their housekeeper keeps order and his chauffeur drives him to work, where he is the head of an internationally successful company. He gets up at five in the morning and begins his day of organizing everyone around him; he’s not easy, as he has the one goal: make the best possible product. Individual needs are not relative. Until one day his own individual need overtakes and controls the rest of his life. He suffers a stroke and wakes up in the hospital with a loss of memory, unable to speak. It’s important that this situation does not become public as it would cause damage to the reputation of his business. He gradually builds a relationship with Jeanne (Leila Bekhti), his speech therapist, who has her own problem. Growing up adopted, she wishes to find her birth mother. He manages to give a speech at a conference in Geneva with Jeanne in the background, holding up flashcards. Still, the recovery is not as expected and “a disabled person cannot be the boss.” Alain is fired. Thus, Alain experiences a loss similar to many of his co-workers, whom he had fired. During long days at home, he reviews his life and realizes there must be change, especially his relationship with daughter Julia.

Director Hervé Mimran takes the humorous path, and we laugh when Alain loses his way on the street, or speaks crazily, mixing up words, saying “bitch” or “fecal,” or “slut” when he means something else, naturally. This is a true story, based on the experience of Christian Streiff who had important positions in France with Airbus and PSA Peugeot Citroën. He suffered a stroke, and wrote about his experiences in his book I was a Man in a Hurry.” The film is interesting due to its French actors, who may not be so familiar, as well as the topic which could happen to any of us. (Becky Tan)

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