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Au Bout du Conte (Under the Rainbow) by Agnès Jaoui

August 30, 2013

jaoui

Jaoui & Bacri are back: Au Bout du Conte is their fourth feature (Jaoui directing,both of them co-writing and acting) in thirteen years and it’s easy to concede that every time they have brought forward their cinematic discourse, while the basic structure of their films has remained faithful to the choral film filled with private little stories that once they are put together offer a much wider understanding of humanity in our times (always with a satirical undertone) Jaoui & Bacri have constantly augmented the sophistication and refinement of their screenwriting and directing abilities, their work on the color palette – already very impressive in Look at Me (2004) – is stunning more than ever before.

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Au Bout du Conte – at the end of the fable – mixes a wide range of characters who have in common a sort of trust they have in a wide array of beliefs: Pierre’s (Jean-Pierre Bacri) belief is a prediction by a mad woman, Laura (Agathe Bonitzer) believes in destiny, big love and dreams, Sandro’s (Arthur Dupont) belief is shaken between his obvious talent and the unpopular line of work where he expresses it (he is a composer of contemporary classical music); everyone of them will learn that dealing with life is not made easier by your beliefs, maybe Maxime (Benjamin Biolay) is the only winning character, but being a wolf to your fellow man is a brutal (unworthy?) kind of victory. Maxime’s surname is of course … Wolf, Jaoui & Bacri have had a lot of fun naming their characters, no doubt Sandro is the amusing one here since the French pronunciation of this Italian name sounds like Cendrillon (French for Cinderella) and of course he will lose a shoes while escaping from a party, no golden carriage though but a Vespa (Italian that one too). At the end of the story Jaoui & Bacri may not be cinematic geniuses like their former mentor Alain Resnais, nonetheless they have developed their own craft and they produce films worth of the time we spend watching them.

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