During the Cannes Film Festival, Konbini shares his favorites with you. What are they? Alex Garland is a name that has enchanted moviegoers for almost two decades now. If we tell you that he is the man behind certain screenplays by Danny Boyle such as Sunshine, 28 days later or The Beach (three nuggets, really), but that he is also the father of the now cult Ex Machina, and the underrated Annihilation, that should tell you something. Once the character has been presented, now take a closer look at the project and you will understand why the expectation was so high. Eux is therefore his third production, Men in his VO. A production signed A24 (the coolest production company of the decade, and whose films are becoming increasingly rare in French-speaking cinemas), with rising star Jessie Buckley, in a claustrophobic horror film that tells the stay of a woman who has come to isolate herself in the British countryside following a traumatic event, and who will find herself haunted by her past. Excited? You are right. Why is it good? (with minor spoilers, sorry) They take the viewer by surprise. Already because we could expect a small element of SF here, there – given its author, it would have been logical. There is only a fantastic, surreal, but also more minimalist anxiety. If we imagine that the film was shot during the Covid, then we understand one of the key elements of the film (it’s a spoiler in short, especially for the author of these words who had managed not to read anything before go see the film, but it’s presented in the trailer, so good): all the men of the village are interpreted by Rory Kinnear. If we look at the film frontally, a first message seems obvious: all the men are same. Literally. A metaphor for a patriarchal society that reproaches women for the misdeeds of men — in this case, Jessie Buckley embodies a woman whose ex-husband, possessive and violent, dies trying to join her (or commits suicide, we will not know never). And they all make her feel guilty. She wants to isolate herself to get away from these resentments, but all the men in the village throw it back at her. The men, all the same. No plan is fixed, there is always a slight zoom in or zoom out or shift on the side of the frame, very slow, which is enough to prevent having a stable frame. Everything is in motion, the spectator is never calm. The construction of the story, where, over the fears of the character, we are told the personal story of his couple, perfectly marries the latent anguish which is becoming more and more intense. Then comes the last third, when the horror becomes frontal and no longer latent. The “home invasion” then becomes something much bigger. And so Garland enjoys losing her audience. To question the origin of evil, to question human and masculine nature, before linking everything to Buckley’s ex-husband – who would then be either a man like the others, or the culmination of centuries of patriarchy. All in a body horror that would make a David Cronenberg jealous. An end that will disconcert, but with a crazy audacity, as few authors can afford, and which risks haunting you for a long time. What do we remember? The actress who pulls out of the game: Jessie Buckley. The main quality: Such a powerful bottom that follows the shape as much, always very impressive. The main flaw: You have to like the way Garland writes his script endings, understand that he raises questions without necessarily answering them. A film that you will like if you liked: Mother! by Darren Aronofsky, and the cinema of Lars von Trier. It could have been called: “All the same”, but it’s very French comedy, we grant you. The quote to sum up the film: “A harrowing and terribly current film”.
Leave a comment