MOVIE RELEASE – “True love only cares about the happiness of the other” and is therefore, ideally, selfless. It is one of the lines of the film The things we say, the things we do , the new feature film by Emmanuel Mouret which continues his reflections on the feeling of love and its complexity.
The film, which comes out on screens this Wednesday, September 16, received the “Cannes 2020 Label”, that is to say that it would have been presented in the official selection on the Croisette last May if the Cannes Film Festival was not had not been canceled due to Covid-19.
A large house in the countryside
The film begins in the countryside, near Avignon, in a large house where Daphné (Camélia Jordana) is on vacation with her companion, François (Vincent Macaigne). But the latter, foreman, is held for a few days in Paris and Daphne finds herself alone to welcome Maxime (Niels Schneider), François' cousin, whom she has never met.
Daphné, a documentary editor, is three months pregnant. Maxime, a translator who wants to write and wants to “tell stories of feelings”, comes out of a heartache.
Intimate and personal stories
Both are initially intimidated but very quickly get to know each other and begin to tell about their lives, and in particular their past love stories. “It's when the stories are intrusive that they get interesting,” says Daphne. For four days, both will share increasingly intimate and personal stories …
“You shouldn't put gravity where there isn't,” said one of the characters at one point. A singular director, Emmanuel Mouret, 49, talks about love lightly film after film, with brilliant dialogues and scenarios full of sentimental twists and turns.
This is his 10th film since 2000, most of them are set in our time and he plays in it (seven times), like the penultimate, Caprice , in 2015, in which he fell under the spell of Virginie Efira. Exception, he did not appear in his latest production, Mademoiselle de Joncquières in 2018, a costume film set in the 18th century in which Cécile de France takes revenge on Édouard Baer.
Here, as usual, he talks about the games of love and chance and the confusion of feelings: how to show his desire without seeking to satisfy it, explains one of the characters. We meet, we talk, we love each other, we leave each other, we meet again, we make mistakes, we forgive each other, we confide, we lie, we laugh and we cry. It's talkative but brilliant, it recalls the finesse of Eric Rohmer's films, sometimes with airs of Truffaut and Woody Allen.
It is, explains Emmanuel Mouret, “an ode to our inconstancy. At a time when we are constantly, severely, called to be coherent, to put our words and our actions in line, I take the side of gentleness and 'indulgence rather than that of the accusation. It is not an ideological position, it is my temperament. “
One of the great pleasures of cinema
The title, he adds, “evokes for me one of the great pleasures of cinema, that which consists in confronting a character with his words: will he do what he said? Is he really the one he says? he claims to be? The suspense in the cinema can also be created by the word and it is up to the spectator to have fun measuring the gap between it and the actions that will follow “.
In this film where the characters refuse the confrontation, where there is no “bad guy” or bastard, where all the characters have a priori good intentions, the actors play all with intensity but with restraint, in roles which give them a lot of dialogue. The star duo is that formed by Camélia Jordana and Niels Schneider, already seen together in the film Curiosa last year, before Niels Schneider appeared in Un amour impossible .
Vincent Macaigne (seen recently in Fête de famille ), is here less tormented and whimsical, more natural and calm than in the roles that are often attributed to him. To this trio is added Emilie Dequenne, in a nice secondary role, that of his ex-wife.
There are, especially towards the end, more or less credible twists, but that is the magic of cinema: “I wanted a sentimental fresco where light stories and more serious stories could coexist”, explains the director, “and I wanted the whole to lead to an end that, in a certain sense, encompasses them all by making them resonate. A small concert of resonances”.
If we let ourselves slip into the fluidity of these crossed sentimental stories, we will be seduced by this very contemporary film but detached from the realism of everyday life, in which words replace actions, without rhythmic editing, without violence and without malice. , without rap pieces but with gymnopédies by Satie, preludes by Chopin and sonatas by Mozart – and, these days, that feels good.
Author (s): FranceSoir