La Brigade

La Brigade
Original title:La Brigade
Director:Louis-Julien Petit
Running time:97 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Since she was a little girl, Cathy has dreamed of running her own restaurant. But at the age of forty, nothing has happened as planned and she finds herself forced to accept a job as a canteen worker in a home for young migrants. Her dream seems to be slipping away again... or is it ?

Mulder's Review

"Since the shooting of Les Invisibles, I have been interested in the question of integration in all its forms in France. In parallel to my questions, Liza Benguigui, my producer, introduced me to Sophie Bensadoun, a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker, who had the idea of writing a fiction film on the theme of the integration of unaccompanied foreign minors through cooking. I found the idea very interesting, I just had to find an original and sunny story. So I decided to investigate, as I do for each of my films. Thanks to Sophie, I had the chance to meet Catherine Grosjean, a cooking teacher in a CAP class for migrant minors. When I discovered her strong character and her pedagogy with her students, everything became clear to me as to how the film should turn out: to make it a luminous story, I had to confront these young people with difficult backgrounds, with a colorful character... " - Louis-Julien Petit

Louis Julien-Petit's new film is undoubtedly one of the best French films of the beginning of the year, as it is carried by a meticulous care to remain permanently credible and to show once again the dysfunctions and social inequalities of our current French system. This militant cinema testifies to the will of the director and screenwriter Louis-Julien Petit to remain credible and above all to bring the spectators to question our current society and in particular on the question in this case of minor migrants. He finds here the actress Audrey Lamy after having directed her in his previous film Les invisibles. The strong link between the director and this actress is felt on screen as she can finally find a strong role allowing her to reveal new facets of her acting. Far from being only at ease in comedies for the general public, following her presence in the popular series Scènes de ménages. The brigade shows that in only five films, director Louis-Julien Petit has remained true to his desire to offer stories that are close to his heart and inspired by real events that it is Discount (2015) or by adapting as with Carole Matthieu (2016) the novel Les Visages écrasés by Marin Ledun published in 2011.

Cathy (Audrey Lamy) has had a consuming passion for cooking since childhood and has been able to resist a difficult childhood by giving herself the means to succeed. While she no longer gets along with the boss of the restaurant that sends her and who doesn't have the same conception of cooking, she decides to stay anchored to her personal motivations and to give her resignation after a difficult evening in the restaurant where she works. But she doesn't know yet that her new job will not only open her eyes to the issue of unaccompanied minor migrants who have to integrate a school in order not to be sent back to their country of origin. Cathy is going to integrate a canteen of a home for young migrants. She will not only teach them to cook but also to use what each of them has as special memories of their childhood to create new dishes.

While mainstream French cinema tends to offer films tailor-made for popular actors, each of the films in Louis-Julien Petit's filmography demonstrates the director's desire to make a statement about issues often related to the underprivileged and the importance of mutual aid.  It is by working together and sharing our know-how that we not only learn more but above all succeed in fulfilling ourselves in our work. The corporate world still plays an important role in this film and also allows the director to take a rather ironic look at television shows based on cooking competitions between strangers. The brigade is carried by a director who is totally invested in his films and who has given his credentials to social cinema, whose emotional power British cinema has been able to present throughout the world.

The Brigade benefits from an original casting in which professional actors Audrey Lamy, François Cluzet, Fatoumata Kaba and Chantal Neuwirth play here with non-professional actors that the director Louis-Julien Petit has carefully selected. The result is an emotional dimension that is as fragile as it is strong, in which renowned actors such as François Cluzet give way to their characters and deliver very strong performances. Audrey Lamy won the Best Actress award at the Alpe d'H'huez festival in 2022, as she delivers a memorable performance that makes this one of the best feel good movies of the beginning of the year. With Louis-Julien Petit, French cinema has found a strong voice capable of holding the audience's attention and making them want to applaud at the end of this emotionally charged film, which shows that far from the modern fairy tales that Hollywood cinema fills us with, a film is above all based on the vision of a director capable of bringing out the best in his team and taking them along with him on subjects of society that are more than worthy of being tackled in the cinema.

The Brigade
Directed by Louis-Julien Petit
Produced by Liza Benguigui
Written by Thomas Pujol, Louis-Julien Petit, Liza Benguigui, Sophie Bensadoun
With Audrey Lamy, François Cluzet, Fatoumata Kaba, Chantal Neuwirth, Olivier Faliez, Jean-Védas Mata Nzadi, Jeremy Charvet.
Music: Laurent Perez Del Mar
Image: David Chambille
Editing: Nathan Delannoy, Antoine Vareille 
Production companies: Odyssée, Elemiah, Pictanovo Région Hauts de France, Apollo Films.
Distributed by Apollo Films (France), Charades (International)
Release date: March 23, 2022 (France)
Running time : 97 minutes

Seen on March 23, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 4 seat A18

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