Napoleon, Mars Express, Testament: what’s new at the cinema this week

Napoleon, Mars Express, Testament: what’s new at the cinema this week

What to see in theaters


By Ridley Scott

The essential

A powerful – and axe-cut – account of the life of the Emperor, which perhaps lacks an angle but certainly not cinema.

Napoleon opens with the execution of Marie-Antoinette. And, very quickly, we will understand that this intro tells us that we have before our eyes a truncated version of the film: only 2h40, while Ridley Scott has been promising for months a version of more than 4 hours for streaming that we could baptize him Josephine’s cut. Because Joséphine (great Vanessa Kirby) only occupies a peripheral position in a film constructed from a series of bravura pieces supposed to give a broad idea of ​​Bonaparte’s life. The fact remains that Scott will always be a master filmer: this heterogeneous assemblage is made up of often colossal moments, playing on contrasts – between shadow and light, between individual and mass, between anecdote and story with an H. Eternal kid, politically brilliant and dominated by women, Napoleon ultimately fascinates Scott less than including him in vast cinema movements, whether they are made up of battles, negotiations or even sex. Seeing the Emperor take Joséphine doggy style between two battles thus places the film in the lineage of radical biopics seventies : unbolting is already not bad. If it’s well filmed, it’s even better. The proof.

Sylvestre Picard

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By Jérémie Périn

The year is 2200, the red planet has been colonized for a long time and a private detective, accompanied by her android partner, seeks to elucidate the disappearance of a cybernetics student. An investigation between Earth and Mars that will shake the entire civilization… Raised at the Métal Hurlant school, director Jérémie Périn (very naturally imposes a universe populated by intelligent robots, villainous murders, shenanigans, corrupt institutions and quite a bit of second degree. Science fiction that dialogues with Ghost in the Shell And Blade Runner without being crushed by these untouchable references. Vertigo arises as much through the staging as through a fairly inimitable visual touch, at the junction of glacial realism and exaggerations typical of Japanimation. After that, French SF will never be the same.

François Leger

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NOAH’S ARK ★★★☆☆

By Bryan Marciano

The start of Noah’s ark, the quickly exhausting cacophony that reigns there provides the key to the film. This idea that we are going to follow this dive into the heart of an association welcoming young LGBT people thrown into the street by their families in the head of Alex, who the vagaries of life have forced to come and work there but who arrives with a only desire: to leave as quickly as possible. It is therefore logical that these teenagers bother him before, little by little, he becomes interested in them. And yet, there is nothing programmatic about this story. Marciano knows from having spent time in one of these associations that each individual who comes to take refuge there is unique. Here he manages to bring a good dozen to life with a dexterity never found wanting. It makes them endearing both because they touch us and because they annoy us. Finnegan Oldfield impresses in the central role as does Valérie Lemercier (who plays the director of this refuge) with her composition full of depth and nuances. Like the entire film.

Thierry Cheze

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WILL ★★★☆☆

By Denys Arcand

Quebecois filmmaker well known for The Decline of the American Empire Or Barbarian InvasionsDenys Arcand is now 82 years old and signs a tasty comedy about cancel culture which specifically emphasizes the gap between generations. He thus imagines the story of a single septuagenarian living in a retirement home whose director will have to manage a conflict with young demonstrators who are demanding the erasure of a wall fresco which, according to them, gives an offensive image of colonization. If the situation leads to political imbroglios and existential disagreements, the film has the judicious idea of ​​favoring humor and even daring sentimental comedy. In the end, Arcand questions himself with a good dose of irony and tenderness about his own status as a presumed nerdy person.

Damien Leblanc


By Anna Blaszczyk

Disaster ! Papa Bear’s entire stock of honey has been stolen, while his son is asking for a big honey cake for his birthday… Here the father and son embark on a strange odyssey to find the precious merchandise, hidden in a mythical Eldorado beyond their native forest. In terms of racing, it’s more of a cool investigation that these two animated plantigrades are leading: a relaxed, quiet, almost motionless pursuit – and very funny, well animated and well dubbed – which gently reinvents the mythology of the friendly animals of the forest that we find in all cultural production for mass children (phew! what a sentence). Actually, The Honey Race looks quite a bit like a colorful and general public rereading of the Village by Shyamalan. Take our word for it.

Sylvestre Picard


By Anthony Chen

In Yanji near the China-North Korea border, winters are particularly cold and snowy. One day, Haofeng goes to this region by chance for a wedding, and will find himself just as accidentally extending his stay, following his meeting with Nana and Xiao, a tourist guide and a cook. There is something elusive in the trio that forms before our eyes, and reinforced by the sensoriality of the film (its greatest quality). Crunching an ice cube, the sound of footsteps in the snow, the scenes in a nightclub… all these elements give substance to the existential doubt that these young people are going through as they emerge from covid. Perhaps too much, because by playing on the register of perplexity, it is this feeling which can end up overwhelming the spectator in turn.

Nicholas Moreno

Find these films near you thanks to Première Go



By Delphine Deloget

After Love and Forests, released in May, where Virginie Efira was a grieving mother having to face a trap (a violent husband) gradually closing in on her, the actress is back… in the role of a grieving mother having to face a trap (an institution) gradually closing in on it. Despite an obvious sincerity and an undeniable accuracy, the actress struggles to renew herself in this drama with forced miserabilism, where Delphine Deloget approaches docu-fiction through the portrait of a frivolous mother who tries to recover her son from the hands of justice following a minor incident. By choosing to tell the eternal battle of David against Goliath, she manages to get the viewer to support her cause but struggles to show the vices of the French administration by banking everything on raw emotion.

Yohan Haddad


By Héléna Klotz

For her second feature, Héléna Klotz (The Atomic Age) features a young woman of 24, living in a barracks with her police officer father, who intends to break the glass ceiling linked to her social class and gender by landing a job in finance. But once these foundations are laid, this story of female learning shatters against the clichés that it accumulates both in the representation of the corporate world and in more intimate moments. The mixture of dreaminess and realism that works in the image (signed Victor Seguin, the chef’op of Gagarin) is never deployed in dialogues or situations which often border on unintentional ridicule. But The Silver Venus has a major advantage. The appearance of an actress like a sudden emergence. The singer Pomme who makes her debut under her real name and illuminates each scene with her performance where clarity and intensity become one.

Thierry Cheze


By Arnaud des Pallières

After the short film Diane Wellington and along Dust of Americaand in parallel with his fictions (Michael Kohlhaas, Orphan…), Arnaud des Pallières continues his documentary anthology on America seen through archive images. The shots here come from the private Prelinger collection and it is through editing and short sentences written on screen that the director gives life to a semblance of a story. The first part offers a meditation on childhood and memory, while the second is more melodramatic and features a fictional young American from the twentieth century who has returned devastated from the war. Despite the austerity of its device which can quickly be off-putting, this film knows how to plunge us into a hypnotic state and gives the sensation that America’s past is only an unreal and distant dream.

Damien Leblanc

RIVER ★★☆☆☆

By Dominique Marchais

Landscape filmmaker, Dominique Marchais (The Time of Grace) continues its exploration of the degradation of different ecosystems in the name of the frantic race for profit. This new opus begins with men and women who clean branch by branch the banks of a river somewhere in the South-West, where various wastes are deposited. “ Today is not the day we will save the planet! » says one of them with humor. And yet, everything is measured on the microscopic scale of the individual – alone or almost – facing an inevitability that must be pushed back otherwise the cycle of our lives will be completely disrupted. Awarded a very generous Jean Vigo Prize as the staging appears far too wise, River continues the testimony of enlightened and enlightening minds, not really optimistic about our future.

Thomas Baura


By Zoé Chantre

More of a filmed diary than a real documentary, this feature film by Zoé Chantre plunges us into her intimacy in the most heartbreaking way possible: by dissecting the bond she maintains with her mother. Two existences that echo each other, two women haunted by illness, two bruised bodies. But although the director moves away from psychodrama with animated sequences evoking her whims, the rest sorely lacks the dynamism to be totally captivating.

Lucie Chiquer


By Rodolfo Pastor

A bit of a dreamer, Capelito aspires to much more than the simple everyday life of a forest mushroom. His boundless creativity pushes him to learn tango, painting, or even writing. Fun, this compilation of short films will delight very young children with its stop motion animation whose craftsmanship is astonishing. But older children will be bored as the film quickly loses entertainment through the repetition of absurd gags.

Lucie Chiquer



By Laurent Firode

One film, six supposedly incorrect stories and as many paranoid and reactionary visions of the future. With The world afterLaurent Firode (The Beat of the Butterfly’s Wings) is composed of petty little stories in which Covid vaccines, new technologies and left-wing activists are all caricatured as symbols of a world going adrift. And to make matters worse, these stupid characters who dream of a better world are… almost always women!

Emma Poesy

And also

Failureby François Mouillard

I am not a heroby Rudy Milstein


War and peaceby Sergei Bondarchuk

Cold Moonby Patrick Bouchitey

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