Opening 20 Oct 2022
This is the eighth movie directed by actor/director Albert Dupontel (Au revoir là-haut/See you up there), and it is dedicated to Terry Jones who passed away in 2020, the year this film was released. Another Monty Python member, Terry Gilliam, makes a cameo appearance as a hunter in a commercial for guns, and these should be enough hints to understand that we are watching a mixture of satire, fantasy, farce and absurdity, all this with a lightness that only French movies can pull off. Rarely have I had tears of laughter and of sorrow and empathy in such quick successions. The film received 15 nominations and 6 prizes at the 2020 Césars, including the César Award for Best Film.
Suze Trappet (Belgian actress Virginie Efira), a 43-year-old hairdresser, is terminally ill and has only a short time left to live. She decides that she wants to track down her son, who she gave birth to as a 15-year-old and was forced by her parents to give up for adoption. Trying to trace her file at the health authorities, she finds herself in the same building with a desperately disheartened 50-year-old IT specialist, JB Cuchas (Albert Dupontel). JB was told by his unsympathetic boss that he should train a group of youngsters fresh from university and thereafter would be obsolete, and now plans to shoot himself in his office. The attempt goes wrong, a colleague is injured, the building half collapses in the process (I did mention 'absurd'), and Suze rescues JB from the premises, along with his very smart computer laptop.
JB and Suze make a deal, that if she makes a police statement in his favour, telling them the truth that the supposed attack was his suicide plan gone wrong by accident, he would help her find her son, using his spezialized laptop which can trace everybody and everything within seconds. Their first destination are the health authorities' archives, where - another absurdity - the blind archivist Serge Blin (Nicolas Marié, in his eighth film directed by Albert Dupontel) is in charge, filling the diversity quota by guarding archives none of the public servants seem to know exist and certainly never visited by anybody. When the police storm the archives, Blin uses the chance to escape with Suze and JB, and we find ourselves in what is now a road movie. Of course, together they eventually find the lost son, and again JB's magical laptop does amazing tricks to interfere with the son's life. The ending, thanks to the French and English film titles (the German title doesn't fit at all), comes as no surprise, but until then you are in for a good mix of hilarious entertainment and social criticism. (Ulrike Lemke)