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See also: SHADOWS FILM FESTIVAL | Last update 5.Feb.19

Sorry Angel  Sorry Angel
Sorry Angel   Plaire, Aimer et Courir Vite
Review by Rich Cline | 4/5  
dir-scr Christophe Honore
prd Philippe Martin, David Thion
with Vincent Lacoste, Pierre Deladonchamps, Denis Podalydes, Adele Wismes, Thomas Gonzalez, Clement Metayer, Quentin Thebault, Tristan Farge, Sophie Letourneur, Marlene Saldana, Luca Malinowski, Rio Vega
release Fr 10.May.18,
US 15.Feb.19, UK 22.Mar.19
18/France 2h13

CANNES FILM FEST


Christophe Honore channels elements of his own life into this sensitive, honest romantic drama. Set 25 years ago, the script blurs proscribed definitions of sexuality in ways that feel bracingly present-day. The original title translates as "like, love and run fast", drawing on an emotional undercurrent of impending mortality. It's a beautiful depiction of the yearning desire to share life and love.
In 1993 Paris, 30-something writer Jacques (Deladonchamps) lives with his young son Louis (Farge), relying on help from his upstairs neighbour Mathieu (Podalydes). On a working visit to Rennes, he meets 22-year-old student Arthur (Lacoste), and the spark between them is instant. Back in Paris, Jacques is trying to help his ex Marco (Gonzalez), who is dying of Aids while Jacques is yet to have symptoms. But he can't get Arthur out of his mind. They write and chat on the phone, although Jacques thinks that he can't handle a "final" love.
Honore infuses vivid realism with heightened dramatic touches. After an evening with his girlfriend (Wismes), Arthur goes cruising, wordlessly navigating a secret gay culture. Jacques and Pierre's first attempt to get together is a series of wonderfully absurd obstacles. And the ongoing problems these two men have as they try to come together is meaningfully echoed in a series of strikingly authentic situations, with distractions and personal issues in the mix, as well as the comfort of random strangers.

Performances are earthy and natural, even in moments when Honore indulges in evocative imaginative touches. Interaction is complex and often realistically awkward or interrupted, which allows the cast to add clever angles to the characters. Both Lacoste and Deladonchamps are likeable and prickly at the same time, making decisions that some people condemn, but always trying to do their best. It's refreshing and telling to see scenes portrayed with this level of nuance, both in the acting and the filmmaking.

Each scene is set out in a way that forces the audience to think, reconsidering the characters and their connections as well as the way movies usually portray these kinds of things. These men aren't necessarily gay or straight, they love who they love. Honore never forces a plot point, letting the events unfold with a rare narrative integrity. He also includes tiny details that tellingly ground each moment. So even when the narrative seems to be circling aimlessly or turning inexorably bleak, it's clear that this is coming from a personal passion.

cert 15 themes, language, sexuality 3.Feb.19


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© 2019 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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