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LE DISCOURS / THE SPEECH (2020, FRA) Movie review, plot, trailer

And this typical eccentric French comedy was supposed to premiere in the official program of canceled Cannes in 2020, and “Le Discours” or “The Speech” seemed to me like another in a series of films made under the influence of the legendary Jeunet’s “Amelie”. It would be wrong to say that it is pure copying, but in terms of style and dynamics it is clear that she was the main star of the eminent French filmmaker Laurent Tirard who directed the film and wrote the screenplay based on the comic book of the same name. The protagonist, 35-year-old Adrien (Benjamin Lavernhe) is also a narrator who constantly addresses the viewer directly.

I think it’s called breaking the fourth wall in film jargon (as was the case with, say, the “Fleabag” series), and it’s a fast-paced and extremely dynamic film that follows not only the course of events after Adrien left the girl, but also his flow of thought. He will fall into a real existentialist crisis after is his girlfriend Sonia (Sara Giraudeau) decided to put their relationship on hold without any explanation. It’s been 38 days, Sonia doesn’t respond to his messages, and we experience the chaos that Adrien experiences in her head first hand while he is at a family lunch with his mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law. And it’s a typical family dinner where banalities are mostly discussed, and Adrienne will be further disturbed by his sister’s request that he be the speaker at her recent wedding.

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He will then start fantasizing about his own death, he will imagine the worst possible catastrophes that could happen when his speech starts, and along the way we will find out his background story. Mostly attention will be paid to his previous romantic relationships (or rather attempts), he will analyze himself and his lifestyle and we will soon realize that this is a complete freak who is not at all strange that the girl left him! The bigger mystery is that she has worked so much with such a distracted and neurotic freak trying to penetrate the depths of his own subconscious and figure out what he was doing wrong in this ultimately stylistically interesting, eccentric, wiggly and fluttery French comedy.

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