Monday, 19 March 2018

FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: JALOUSE



10/10

Natalie is a literature professor in her late forties. Recently divorced, she is in the stage of her life where every younger woman (including her daughter Mathilde) is competition. No, she is not heading to some sort of self destruction, but she hurts everyone in sight, whether it’s her happy in marriage best friend, or her ex husband going on vacation with a new spouse, or a younger colleague with some fresh ideas about how to run the faculty. They say it is easy to break, but what will it take for Natalie to rebuild her life and start afresh?

JALOUSE is an honest film about a middle age crisis with a larrikin heroine at its centre who is determined to be miserable and turn everyone else’s life into misery, no matter the cost. Directors David & Stephanie Foekinos excel at getting into the head of a woman. Their previous effort Delicacy with Audrey Tautou was hit and miss, while JALOUSE is a total triumph.

Karine Viard is inspired as Natalie. She is stylish and likeable, which only enhances the shock from her ability to transform into “l’enfant terrible” at a moment’s notice. The dialogue is snappy, the situations are grotesque, and they will make you cringe even more when you recognise the people you know in many personages of the film.

There’s nothing to add and nothing to take away from JEALOUSE. The drama is honest and the laughs come from the heart. The characters are established quickly and effortlessly, but still come across deep enough.Telling the story of a middle aged crisis from the woman’s point of view without reservation and political correctness is what modern cinema needs right now. But most of all JEALOUSE is extremely entertaining!

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