The innocent

The innocent
Original title:L'innocent
Director:Louis Garrel
Running time:100 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
When Abel learns that his 60-year-old mother Sylvie is about to marry a man in prison, he panics. With the help of his best friend, Clémence, he is ready to do anything to protect her. But his meeting with Michel, his new stepfather, may offer him a new perspective...

Mulder's Review

"I wanted a family story and a criminal case, a crime. Right away, there was the idea of the mother who gets married in prison. It is the mother who, through love, brings into a completely 'legalistic' family a transgressive element." - louis Garrel

There is a real creative spirit in French independent cinema that not only makes us love cinema but above all surprises us and imposes the true view of a director on today's society. For his fourth film, the writer, director and actor Louis Garrel (Les Deux Amis (2015), L'Homme fidèle (2018), La Croisade (2021)) delivers a rhythmic comedy-drama served to perfection by a committed cast. Roschdy Zem, Anouk Grinberg, Noémie Merlant surround Louis Garrel in this story that is both a heist film but also a comedy on family, love and marriage. 

We discover Abel (Louis Garrel), who takes a dim view of the fact that his mother Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg) is about to get married to a man who will soon be released from prison, Michel (Roschdy Zem). The latter, who claims to have settled down after leaving prison, seems to be playing a double game. Clémence (Noémie Merlant), Abel's friend, and Abel follow Michel incognito in order to find out what he is up to, and find themselves helping him in a fraudulent attempt to steal caviar.

Even if Louis Garrel's first films have not particularly marked our memories, we must recognize that his new film The Innocent has enough madness to succeed in immersing us in a realistic universe in which a small note of madness seems to be persistent. The director and co-writer understood from the start that he could not impose his film against American behemoths like Ocean's Eleven and preferred to orient his film towards a comedy in which anything can happen, including seeing actors playing actors in a scene of a restaurant dispute to capture the attention of a truck driver carrying the cargo that Michel is trying to steal. The film's intended simplicity proves successful and allows viewers to relax in front of an admittedly minor comedy that is a pleasure to watch.

The innocent benefits above all from the presence of the irresistible actress Noémie Merlant who brings to this film by her presence a note of fragility and undeniable beauty. The duet that she composes with Louis Garrel proves to be at the center of the film and shows us the importance of having not only an excellent script but also roles built with precision to allow a film to find its audience.

The Innocent
Directed by Louis Garrel
Written by Louis Garrel, Tanguy Viel, Naïla Guiguet
Produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint
With Roschdy Zem, Anouk Grinberg, Noémie Merlant, Louis Garrel
Image : Julien Poupard
Editing : Pierre Deschamps
Music : Grégoire Hetzel
Production companies: Les Films des Tournelles, Arte, Canal+, Cine+, CNC
Distributed by Ad Vitam Distribution
Release dates : May 18, 2022 (Cannes), October 12, 2022 (France).
Running time: 100 minutes

Seen on September 27, 2022 at the Forum des Images

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