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» » Mécréant (1998)

Short summary

Vincent is at his office and would like to go on with his work. But at the moment, he just can't as his mother is monopolizing him on the phone. She is preparing the funeral mass of her ... See full summary
Vincent is at his office and would like to go on with his work. But at the moment, he just can't as his mother is monopolizing him on the phone. She is preparing the funeral mass of her deceased mother (and Vincent's grandmother) and solicits her son's contribution - which, being an atheist, he does only half willingly. While he is in contact with his mother, a second phone rings on another line: news is brought to him of the birth of a new child in the family. Oddly enough, the two conversations, one about death, the other a bout a new life, juxtapose and intertwine.

First film directed by actor Louis-Do de Lencquesaing.

French visa # 95890 delivered on 11-2-1999.

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  • comment
    • Author: Dalarin
    'Louis-Do de Lencquesaing' (qv) is a very active movie and TV actor (85 films between 1990 and 2017), who worked for such talented directors as Chabrol, Kahn, Desplechin, Godard, Assayas, Haneke, Bonello and Ramos in roles rarely leading (the producer of _Le père de mes enfants (2009) (qv) – his best performance to date; the father in _Taj Mahal (2015)_(qv)), more often supporting (the bookstore owner in Caché (2005)_ (qv)). Also a theater actor and a stage director, the characters he embodies are often in his own image, casual, charming and slightly mocking, which does not prevent him from playing character parts, including historical figures (Jean de Luxembourg in _ Jeanne captive (2011) _ (qv)) and/or malevolent beings (the wealthy pedophile who believes himself above the law in _Polisse (2011) _ (qv)). All these activities are apparently not enough for this passionate workaholic. As a matter of fact, he has also (starting in 1998) tried his hand at filmmaking and managed to direct, write and interpret (in the latter case with one exception) three shorts and one feature, all displaying more or less strong autobiographical overtones (sonhood, fatherhood - especially father-daughter relationship -, satire of the Christian noble family he comes from and rejection of its values, writing, coming of age, love, separation...). "Mécréant" is the first of these four efforts. To tell the truth, this modest short, although amusing and intriguing, has nothing particularly remarkable about it. Compared to _Au galop (2012) (qv) _ , de Lencquesaing's very rich first feature, this one shows much more limited ambitions (a wise move in fact for a first-time director) : filmed in one sequence, in a single place (an office), with only two actors (Louis-Do as Vincent, an office worker, and Nelly Borgeaud as his mother), it merely consists in a phone conversation. The plot is basic as well : Vincent's mother, a declared catholic, is organizing the funeral mass of her own mother and is currently on the phone with her son Vincent, who is irritated not only at being interrupted in his work but at having to collaborate to something he deeply disapproves of (in this particular case, the choice of funeral hymns, and more generally speaking, the Catholic religion he has rejected). But his mother is his mother and although reluctantly and with ironic bites, he abides. I said above that the situation was elemental in its extreme simplicity but this is not totally true. In fact, it gets complicated by another call on another line in which a family member announces the birth of a new baby. The result is that Vincent, who has had his work interrupted by a first call, now sees it interrupted by a new one. The effect produced is both comic (his being forced to juggle two antagonistic conversations at once) and touching (death and life intermingle). Although, not an outstanding work, "Mécréant" is pleasant to see. Light and elegant (despite Vincent's constant swearing!), it acquires more substance if you take it as an introduction to de Lancqueseing's director's corpus and if you view it with the prospect of his films to come. Part of the actor-director's themes are indeed already present, connecting - discreetly but undeniably - this "sour candy" to the much more invigorating "Au Galop", his deep and charming first feature.
  • Credited cast:
    Nelly Borgeaud Nelly Borgeaud - La mère de Vincent
    Marie-Armelle Deguy Marie-Armelle Deguy
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Evrard de Lencquesaing Evrard de Lencquesaing - Olivier (voice)
    Louis-Do de Lencquesaing Louis-Do de Lencquesaing - Vincent
    Patricia Trautmann Patricia Trautmann
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