|Running time:||87 minutes|
|Release date:||09 june 2021|
"It had been a while since I had been looking to make a second first film: a film where I would reset the counters to zero, where I would try things, take risks, and in a reasonable economy of production, unlike huge films like Asterix and Obelix: In the Service of His Majesty. Moreover, the big distributors I'm used to working with were perplexed by the script of The Speech. "Laurent Tirard
At the basis of the new film written and directed by Laurent Tirard, there is the novel with the homonymous title by Fabrice Caro published in 2018 by Gallimard. The main character, Adrien (Benjamin Laverhne) has just been dumped by his girlfriend Sonia (Sara Giraudeau) and finds himself at a family dinner with his parents (played by François Morel and Guilaine Londez), his sister Sophie (Julia Piaton) and her boyfriend Ludo (Kyan Khojandi) with whom she is going to marry. As the meal drags on, Ludo asks Adrien to write a speech at the wedding with his sister. The novel was deemed unsuitable as it was all based on Adrien's thoughts about his childhood, his relationship with his family and his encounter with Sonia and their life together. It was therefore necessary to find a way to make the main character's thoughts and various reactions during a family meal into a movie.
The speech turns out to be a true cinematic event in the same way that the comedy Les bronzés forever marked the end of the 70s and established itself as a generational film. Yet after numerous popular comedies calibrated to appeal to a wide audience, such as two films about Le petit Nicolas (Le petit Nicolas (2010) and Les vacances du petit Nicolas), Asterix et Obélix : au service de sa majesté (2012) and two comedies tailored to Jean Dujardin (Un homme à la hauteur (2016) and Le retour du héros (2018)), nothing could let it be that director and screenwriter Laurent Tirard would return to the very essence of auteur cinema.
Even if his film The Return of the Heroes hinted that this director had the potential to change his tone and to want to get out of the straitjacket in which French cinema had placed him. The speech is conducted with a true sense of timing, this film will make you go from laughter to tears and will make you want to applaud at the end. It stands out as the perfect example of what French cinema should be, an inventive cinema embodied by invested actors and dialogues as crisp as they are punchy.
In this film, where what the main character says and thinks is in perpetual opposition and punctuated by a few flashbacks, the script lets the raw talent of actor Benjamin Lavernhe shine through. Already noticed in many supporting roles (Radiostars (2012), La marche (2013), Le sens de la fête (2017), Mon inconnue (2019), Antoinette dans les cévennes (2020)), The Speech finally allows him to find a perfect role showing that he is one of the most gifted French actors today. His character at the center of the film had to be played to perfection in order to create a real psychological bond with the spectators. The many versions of his speech make us laugh as much as they touch us personally.
In the same way, the great care given to the supporting roles whether Sara Giraudeau, Kyan Khojandi, Julia Piaton, François Morel or Sarah Suco, the skillfully constructed script leaves them enough room to develop their characters. Certainly, the overly theatrical side of the meal is avoided and the director and screenwriter Laurent Tirard thus offer us a dramatic comedy that castigates charities (a pen for Africa), first encounters and disappointments in love, but also family relationships and the irritating things of our daily life that we tolerate by force.
Certainly, we can only defend such a film as original as it is perfectly directed, leaving no false notes and imposing Benjamin Lavernhe as a leading actor. We look forward to seeing him again in the cinema on December 16th.
The Speech (Le discours)
Written and Directed by Laurent Tirard
Produced by Olivia Lagache
Starring Benjamin Lavernhe, Sara Giraudeau, Kyan Khojandi, Julia Piaton, François Morel, Guilaine Londez, Sébastien Chassagne, Christophe Montenez, Laurent Bateau, Sarah Suco, Jean-Michel Lahmi, Adeline d'Hermy, Sébastien Pouderoux
Music by Mathieu Lamboley
Cinematography: Emmanuel Soyer
Edited by Valérie Deseine
Production companies :
Distributed by Les Films sur mesure
Release date: June 9 2021 (France)
Running time: 87 minutes
Seen on October 1, 2020 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 3 seat A18