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Les garçons et Guillaume, à table! (Me, Myself and Mum) by Guillaume Gallienne

March 23, 2014

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The boys and William, dinner’s ready! makes much more sense than Me, Myself and Mum, the original title gives the viewer a better idea of what he is going to see since there is a lot of humour in Gallienne’s debut feature: it is an autobiographical story – which Gallienne had already used for a theatre piece – whose main scope is illustrating how full of perils is the moment in our life when we have to understand meaning and consequences of our sexual identity, the instant when our gender has to produce a behaviour which has to be consistent with the idea society imposes on what is female and what is masculine, what can you do when your body and instincts do not conform to the dictates of your gender? in a way this thought provoking film represents the counterpoint to Ozon’s Jeune & Jolie – where Ozon’s cheeky heroine proudly explores her femininity, Gallienne’s Guillaume is the lead voice of a female choir.

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Gallienne is an accomplished actor – he is a member of the prestigious Comédie-Française – and his feat of interpreting here both Guillaume and his Mom is a masterful one: combining Tootsie and Geraldine/Daphne, and though Gallienne the director has chosen to maintain the theatrical nature of his own work here he is also exhibiting a keen talent for the cinematic language, an example is the way he uses his narrator/voice-over roles and the editing to advance the story or mutate the course of what we were expecting to see; Gallienne has a taste for the unexpected, for subverting the rules of the game: just think of the memorable Diane Kruger cameo. Hilarious and moving, tender and cruel, drama and ridicule: Gallienne may have been timid and fearful as a young man but the adult who has directed Me, Myself and Mum is a fearless artist.

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