Yannick: the one man-show Raphaël Quenard (review)

Yannick: the one man-show Raphaël Quenard (review)

The hero of Les Chiens de la casse, confirms that 2023 is his year without however removing all the frustrations inherent in the cinema of Quentin Dupieux, for a few films

It is by directing him in his previous feature film Smoking makes you cough, the time of a face to face with Blanche Gardin, that Quentin Dupieux had the idea and the desire to write a tailor-made film for Raphaël Quenard. A long-kept secret project, shot in 6 days, and whose existence we learned just a few weeks before its theatrical release. The story of a spectator of a boulevard play, The Cuckold, who, unable to do more than he is seeing, decides to get up, call out to the actors and interrupt the show to take matters into his own hands. Inspired by the unparalleled eloquence of the actor, Dupieux signs here his film with the most dialogue for ages and has the good idea to leave him the keys to the truck. Put in the spotlight thanks to the brilliant Junkyard Dogs but just as impressive just before or since, in I will always see your faces, Cash and last week in on the branch, Quenard is worthy of the gift that has been given to him. Both in the monologue and in the exchanges with his partners (Pio Marmaï, Blanche Gardin, Sébastien Chassagne, the performers of the play, all impeccable), generosity dominates his interpretation rich in subtle nuances both in pure comedy and in a more emotional.

The scribbled poster of Yannick gives a clue: that of a wink to that of too beautiful for you by Bertrand Blier. And the shadow of the filmmaker – of whom Dupieux has always presented himself as a fervent admirer – and more precisely of his Cold buffet – hovers over this Yannickprobably the most convincing of Dupieux’s films since At office ! in 2018. And yet when we loved his first feature films so much, Steak And Rubber, and that we have suffered for years watching him rest on his laurels in films with always brilliant ideas, always with a very strong cast, but always so frustrating in their execution, this Yannick is not enough to reverse the situation. Because the same causes, the same effects. Why choose the target as easy as the boulevard theater as a playground? What does he really want to tell behind this n-th confrontation between prole and bourgeois? What uniqueness does he bring to it? Why once again, after a controlled set-up, does he himself seem to be looking for how he is going to be able to fit all this into a feature film format and even more how to conclude, if not by a pirouette? And, having reached the end of its 69 minutes, we have to admit our inability to provide an answer to all these questions. If only deep down Yannick has no other goal than to make people laugh and that we probably project too much each time on Quentin Dupieux and his cinema.

By Quentin Dupieux. With Raphaël Quenard, Pio Marmaï, Blanche Gardin… Duration 1h09 Released August 2, 2023

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