Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2020 7:22 pm 
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NEW FRENCH SHORTS
CLÉMENCE POÉSY: THE TEARS THING/LE COUP DES LARMES (2019)

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FLORENCE PARADY AND SABINE TIMOTEO IN THE TEARS THING

Drama queens

Clémence Poésy is a prolific actress (with 48 credits) who is bilingual in French and English. She is known for the French TV thriller series "Tunnel" and is also seen regularly in English-language roles including one with Michael Caine and the part of Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter films. Twelve years ago she costarred in a film (not a much praised one) with Gaspard Ulliel directed and written by Éric Forestier. Here, Forestier is the writer. India Hair, who plays the lead, is a longhaired, pale blond actress like Poésy, and her character is called Florence Parady. Florence Parady, Clémence Poésy. That makes you wonder.

But we can't know, and have no reason to suspect, that Poésy had a girlfriend who walked out on her and completely disappeared for a four-year period, which leads to the dramatic main sequence here when Florence Parady, who is to play a super assassin who does battle with another super assassin, enters a grim, tunnel-like farm building to be coached by a woman on the use of firearms. The instructor, to her enormous shock, is that old girlfriend, Sasha. Swiss-born actress Sabine Timoteo, in the role of Sasha, has the cheekbones and stern gaze to play a woman capable of walking out, and of subsequently serving four years in the army learning the firearm skills needed to coach film actors in weapon handling.

Florence is furious at what Sasha did to her, but the intense attraction she had for her is still evidently there. Given the free handling of dangerous weaponry that's going to take place, will this encounter lead to rapprochement - or murder?

Is this a thriller - or a comedy? The ampted-up scenes of The Tears Thing seem capable of going either way, and the uncertainty of tone lessens the impact. In the final scene, the action jumps forward to Florence acting in the super assassin role, her emotions overpowering her in a key scene.

Good moments early on are undercut by uneven handling of the action, with a key event happening off screen and left vague. Mlle Poésy seems to understand acting better than writing. Both lead actresses are fine; the script could have done with some touching up.

The Tears Thing/Le coup des larmes, 26 mins., debuted in the Orizzonti series at Venice. No other festival appearances are listed on IMDb. It was screened for this review as part of the Kino Lorber Marquee New French Shorts 2020 series, May 9, 2020.

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