The collective sadness aroused by the sudden disappearance of Jean-Pierre Bacri has few equivalents. The actor, who died at the age of 69 on January 18, 2021, was adored by all and leaves a void in French cinema. But if we often imagine Bacri as a grumpy grump like some of his roles, as in the excellent Le Sens de la Fête by Toledano and Nakache which is broadcast this Sunday, November 20 on TF1, is to miss a large part of the character. Because by digging into his filmography, by looking more closely, we find much more. So much more. Here, in five examples, the type of characters that he was able to camp, and what he hides behind. Éric Guidolini, known as Guido, in My best friends (1989) Before becoming the grumpy but touching actor we know in a duet with Agnès Jaoui in the 1990s, Jean-Pierre Bacri was a second choice role in the 1980s , with in particular Alexandre Arcady for Le Grand Pardon or Le Grand Carnaval, Inspector Batman in the ambitious Subway by Luc Besson or Coup de amour and La Baule-les-Pins with Diane Kurys. emblematic, full of nuances, is that of Guido in the very successful My Best Friends by Jean-Marie Poiré released in 1989, four years before The Visitors. Gently but without always being very tender, the film follows the reunion between a group of inseparable friends since the 1960s and their childhood sweetheart. Played by Christian Clavier (who also co-wrote the film), Gérard Lanvin, Philippe Khorsand, Jean -Pierre Darroussin and Jean-Pierre Bacri, the five friends meet around their memories, and especially those of Bernadette who returns for a unique concert at the Olympia. At the time, they were a rock band, disbanded in the early 1970s when Bernadette left for Canada for an international career. Everyone has their own story about this event. The friends then spend a weekend together in the countryside, rehashing this whole period full of ideals, settling their accounts while looking down on their respective evolution. The character of Jean-Pierre Bacri is one of the most nuanced, gradually revealing his desires and his sexuality. Singer and leader of the group at the time, he then made films in Italy and returned with a lover. Repressing his homosexuality, he goes cycling for miles during the weekend, proclaiming his abstinence loud and clear. A role in which Jean-Pierre Bacri excels and which allows us to see him with long hair, singing psychedelic rock. A rare and priceless moment. Jean-Pierre in Didier (1997) Surrealist, this comedy, today erected to the rank of classic, shines especially for the dog performance of Alain Chabat. Jean-Pierre Bacri embodies an outstanding football agent. “[J’ai écrit] the role of Bacri for Bacri, that’s for sure. And it would have pissed me off if he had said no”, confided Alain Chabat to Première during the release. It’s true that we too would have been pissed off if he had declined such an opportunity to illustrate in the skin of a guy completely overwhelmed by life. In the department of cult replicas of French cinema, Jean-Pierre Bacri reigns supreme with Didier. If he educates a man not to “smell people’s ass”, his accent will always sing in our ears between his “dog cunt” and his inimitable “yum yum Didier”. We will never get tired of hearing his thoughts. philosophical about the supernatural transformation of a dog into a man, because Didier is the symbol of popular comedy that will never grow old. Motivated by the talent and nerve of Alain Chabat, the late actor inhabited this unique role with a cynicism and a detachment that only he knew how to play. France only speaks of the Jabac (Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri), but it can also thank this shock duo for the giggles, sitting or lying down, that they gave us. And then the association of Chabat with Bacri (Didier, The Taste of Others, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, The City of Fear) has always hit the mark. Jean-Jacques in The Taste of Others (2000) Jean-Jacques is a little off the mark. A little depressed by the pink walls of his home and his wife’s propensity to give him no freedom in decorating his house. Jean-Jacques is a dull business leader, in a company as dull as he is. While attending a performance at the theatre, he falls under the spell of the main actress, Clara, who also happens to be his English teacher. In Le Goût des autres (2000) by Agnès Jaoui, Jean -Pierre Bacri embodies this Jean-Jacques Castella who discovers a new environment, far from his own. A cultured milieu, which chains cocktails at art openings where journalists do not deign to go, makes fun of its crude jokes and benefits from its money when it falls in love with a beloved painting of a sudden. œil.Jean-Pierre Bacri is always on a thread, that of the astonishment linked to his meeting with Clara, of the frankness with regard to his sometimes limited cultural appreciations and of a character who is ultimately benevolent, who does not hesitate to shave his enormous mustache to please while discovering that no one noticed – and gets angry as a result. The result is a defining role in the history of French cinema, carried by the sublime writing of the other roles by Agnès Jaoui: that of Gérard Lanvin as a sensitive bodyguard, Alain Chabat as a mistreated driver or Anne Alvaro who gently dismisses Castella. A few hours, weeks and years after seeing The Taste of Others, we still remember and always of a perfect Jean-Pierre Bacri in honest h A sentimental man who tries somehow to be noticed and, in the end, becomes even more endearing. Not Pierre Niney’s favorite film for nothing. François in The Very Private Life of Monsieur Sim (2015) If Bacri was the king of good words while sparing words, François Sim, “like the menu”, is suffering from boring logorrhea to death. From the very first minutes of the film, he sets the stage for his drifting personal, family, professional and romantic life for his plane neighbor who ends up dying of boredom, in the literal sense of the term. François Sim is officially the loneliest man in the world. will take advantage of this opportunity to go on a commercial road trip and recompose the puzzle of his life while composing his own social puzzle. of ingenuity, desperate to do well and to be loved by his peers, suffocating them under kilos of awkwardness. Bacri has played many depressive roles, but his interpretation of Monsieur Sim is both multiple and misguided. If he does not get rid of this eternally surly physique, his childish smile, a little silly and his circumflex eyebrows give him an air of perpetual astonishment and inject into this character a purity that has no equal. Monsieur Sim’s life is infinitely sad, but Jean-Pierre Bacri has made it a little more bearable in our hearts. Castro in Public Square (2018) Bacri liked to play characters who really didn’t look like him. He even took pleasure in it. More than the complainer that we usually imagine, the actor offered us, for example, something quite rare, even unprecedented, in his last collaboration with his lifelong partner, Agnès Jaoui, Place publique.Place à Castro, star presenter in the hot seat, aging, amiable as a pig, possessive, mean, who is afraid of getting old. Who is known, and can’t stand little people. “An idiot, a misogynist, a reactionary”, as the interested party says in this interview with Figaro. The opposite of what Bacri was in real life, he who said he was leftist and feminist. And he liked it: “I really play the opposite of what I think I am. […] Some of these TV hosts disgust me so much that I had a real pleasure in becoming one of them.” But behind this mask, there is a real reflection on the impossibility of growing old in this profession, the fear of to be permanently replaced, the fear of the image that one sends back. We don’t know how much this resembles the fears the artist had in real life, but in any case it requires a certain form of fairly strong self-mockery. Article co-written by Arthur Cios, Lucille Bion, Aurélien Chapuis, Louis Lepron and Manon Marcillat.
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