During the summer, four teenagers from the Picasso projects in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, get street cast to star in a feature film. Everyone claims they picked “the worst ones”, but while filming we get a closer look at who they really are.

Director/writers duo Lise Akoka & Romane Gueret wonderfully blend filmmaking and storytelling on- and off-screen, choosing a rather unconventional style to frame their film. At times it watches as a behind-the-scenes of the film that’s being made within their film, while at other times it’s most definitely a remarkable story that’s being told. Akoka and Gueret mostly work with a young cast, which isn’t always easy to guide, as also translated into the film’s story. It’s almost as if they wanted to show the viewer how complex yet liberating filmmaking can be when all the right components mix well.

What makes most of this work, is the dedicated young cast that clearly gives it their all. The biggest part goes to the youngest of the bunch, Timeo Mahaut, who plays Ryan – the boy who never cries. His gripping performance keeps you in some sort of trance while his character struggles through a custody battle. Mallory Wanecque plays Lily, a flirty girl who’s protective of herself and the ones she loves. An honest and recognisable character that’s brilliantly portrayed by Wanecque, who’s able not to fall for familiar tropes, but gives Lily multiple layers.

Les pires is a lovely, exciting work that shows us how frustration and our differences can create ways to new opportunities. A humble film that’ll nail you to your seat.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviewed May 19, 2022 (screener provided by publicist) Rating: TBC. Running time: 99 min. 

PRODUCTION: A Les Films Velvet production. Producers: Marine Alaric & Frederic Jouve.

CREW: Directors: Lise Akoka & Romane Gueret. Writers: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret & Elenore Gurrey. Editing: Albertine Lastera. Cinematography: Eric Dumont.

CAST: Mallory Wanecque, Timeo Mahaut, Johan Heldenbergh, Esther Archambault, Loic Pech & Melina Vanderplancke.

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