The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” ― Antonio Gramsci

Alex (Alexandre Steiger) is a lawyer looking to make his way up in the world when he starts working with the corrupt Financial Secretary of France, Stéphane (Christophe Paou), who is trying to change his image. Meanwhile, Alex’s elderly parents are thousands of euros in debt and enter a dance contest hoping to take home the top prize. It won’t erase their debt, but it’ll get them one step closer. We also get to meet Louise (Lilith Grasmug), a 16-year-old girl who is ready to lose her virginity, after getting an interesting tutorial from her doctor.

Over the course of a few days all of these people will cross paths at one point or another. Alex will eventually do something good with his brain after suffering a major personal set back, Stéphane will get exposed as the fraud he is, all be it in a horrifically, ironic way and Louise will learn that she is not the shy, quiet, reserved person she thinks she needs to be and decides to make it her weapon against the harshness of the world.

A wonderfully written film in which you never know where things will go. Each story line follows a certain stage of life, the young with everything in front of them, middle age where you still have a choice to do the right thing and help others or to follow the path of sin and debauchery; and the end of a life where you don’t know when or if there will be a tomorrow, but ready to see what can happen as long as you have someone with you who will hold your hand until the very end. There are tender moments of love between an elderly couple who still have some bite in them, a young man who has to choose how the world is going to remember him and a young girl who is forced to grow up too fast.

Written by Amélie Philippe, Yohann Gloaguen and director Jean-Christophe Meurisse, take us on wild ride of a tale that takes so many twists and turns that have you feeling as if you switched channels halfway through. At times, scenes play out like a Christopher Guest-movie, where the actors were told to improvise dialogue to create a strong sense of relationship. A great send up of the modern ensemble film, where stories intertwine and shot up with some fentanyl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), July 28, 2021. Running time: 102 min.

PRODUCTION: A Rectangle Productions, Mamma Roman production with the participation of Canal+, Cine+, C8. Producers: Marine Bergere, Romain Daubeach & Alice Girard. 

CREW: Director: Jean-Christophe Meurisse. Writers: Yohann Gloaguen, Jean-Christophe Meurisse, Amélie Philippe. Cinematography: Javier Ruiz Gomez. Editing: Flora Volpelière.  

CAST: Denis Podalydès, Christophe Paou, Guilaine Londez, Anthony Paliotti, Céline Fuhrer.

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