From the swimming pool of a budget hotel in Turkey to the disturbing waters of an Irish fishing port, double dose of Paul Mescal on the Croisette. The Irish actor (with his brand new mustache) came to present God’s Creatures by New Yorkers Anna Rose Holmer and Saela Davis and the little gem Aftersun by Charlotte Wells, already acquired by Mubi and A24. day, the confined world fell in love with Paul Mescal when the BBC then Hulu broadcast the Normal People series, a sublime serial adaptation of the eponymous novel by Sally Rooney. In these pages, the Irish author, a true Anglo-Saxon literary phenomenon, developed the relationship of love and complex friendship that unites Connell and Marianne from high school to adulthood. The test of time and differences in social status, this one will be made of moments of intense connection but also of heartbreaking misunderstandings. In only twelve episodes, the unknown actor, his Irish accent and his physique of Greek statue are become the fictional masculine ideal of the moment. If Marianne’s score is written and filmed with equal care and its interpreter, Daisy Edgar-Jones, is up to it, the lack of male characters of this finesse, filmed in their roughness, their doubts, their weaknesses and their faults, played in favor of Paul Mescal.#connellschainA popular high school student and hopeful for the football team, Connell is also a coward and will not immediately assume his relationship with Marianne, considered a bourgeois intellectual who is a little weirdo by his classmates. Then it is he who, the following year, will not get used to the change of scenery of Trinity College, the elitist college where they will study together and where he will gain in maturity. He will then learn to communicate, with his mother first, with whom he has a very good relationship of trust, then with Marianne and her shrink when he falls into depression. The shocking psychoanalytic sequence in which Connell indulges his emotions is one of the emotional climaxes of the series. If their relationship has encountered many obstacles over the years, moments of weakness and geographical distance, or new partners, Connell will never waver in his gentleness and benevolence towards Marianne, nor cease to concern himself with her well-being and consent. This is the main reason why we cherish Connell and his interpreter: they knew how to prove that positive masculinity and erotic potential can go very well together (others, like the distressing 365 Dni, did not understand this). The sex scenes are one of the major successes of Normal People. Supervised by Sex Education’s intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, they show us explicit consent, condoms and realism, but also and above all a lot of intensity and eroticism. Proof that they knew how to titillate the spectators, the famous silver chain of Connell, often filmed in close shot during the many moments of carnal exchanges, has become a phenomenon on the Internet, fed many Twitter threads and even has an account Instagram to his glory, connellschain.Swimming with Paul MescalPropelled from anonymity to glory in twelve short episodes, Paul Mescal now has this image of the ideal man that sticks to his skin, but which he hastened to get rid of . If his first role in a feature film was for Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Lost Daughter, where he played a friendly beach attendant in the service of Olivia Colman, in Cannes, we found the actor in roles opposite to that of Connell. We first saw him in the (already forgotten) drama God’s Creatures, by young directors Anna Rose Holmer and Saela Davis, presented at the Directors’ Fortnight, in which he plays a darling son back in the small fishing port. Irish where he grew up after years of exile in Australia. In the eyes of his mother, embodied by Emily Watson, imperial, he is the creature of God of the title and, when he is accused of rape, she will sink into denial. The film, despite a very beautiful photography in the service of this suffocating account, is rather unconvincing or even subtle in its denunciation of the law of silence. But this is the first script that the actor received after Normal People and the directors were able to capture something ambivalent in him and offer him this role against the grain to remind us that Paul Mescal is not Connell Waldron (although the temptation to transfer is great). We then found him in Aftersun, a nugget presented at Critics’ Week, the first film by Scottish director Charlotte Wells. It was this time on the Turkish coast, near the swimming pool of a budget hotel, that we found the actor as a divorced father. Aftersun is a coming-of-age movie, dark and solar at the same time, which takes on the air of a holiday movie. Swimming pool, diving, ice cream and karaoke, the holidays of Sophie and Calum seem sweet and placed under the sign of a sincere father/daughter love. The story of their holidays is interspersed with images that they filmed, in turn, with the small family camcorder and which reminds Sophie, now an adult and in turn a mother, of this adored but elusive father. imperceptible, Charlotte Wells draws, between the lines of her summer memories, a darker portrait of this ambivalent father who is entirely devoted to his daughter. In a spat at your reflection in the mirror, a fit of tears or a word of apology to your daughter, we guess an ill-being that halos the story of a melancholy that has drowned us in a sea of tears. Sea, swimming pool and tears, in Cannes, we therefore bathed with Paul Mescal.