This quirky comedy-drama snuck in among the five Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, but the golden statuette still went to another French-language film, Truffaut’s “Nuit Americaine.” In addition to the nomination for the Oscar, the screenwriter and director Claude Goretta won for “L’invitation” and the jury prize in Cannes, and it’s strange, a bit metaphorical more of a drama than a comedy about a middle-aged guy who will suddenly get rich.
Remy (Michel Robin) is a rather antisocial, disreputable office worker who still lives with his mother. But after she suddenly dies, Remy will become rich. He will sell the house in the city center and then buy a villa and a large estate in the countryside. After a while none of his work colleagues hear from him, one day they all receive invitations from Remy inviting them to a party at his new house. Although practically none of them are any good with Remy, partly out of curiosity they will all accept the invitation. Once they get to the village and the alcohol starts pouring, the brakes between them all will start to come off and all the things they never told each other in the office will now start to come to the surface.
I can’t say that “L’invitation” particularly impressed me, maybe because it is a rather hermetic, closed film that I would only marginally describe as a comedy. It seemed to me more like some kind of absurdist drama, full of some hidden symbolism, bizarre situations, strange characters. Thus, the mysterious butler hired by Remy will also be at the party, and his presence gives the whole party an extra dose of strangeness. Not only the characters are strange, but also the relationships between most of them, and their relationship towards Remy, who until yesterday was seen as somehow patronizing, as a 50-year-old bum who still lives with his mother, but when he becomes rich, that will also be strange. to change. A strange film that everyone could interpret in their own way.