It is a family drama that Florian Zeller evokes with the same formal mastery, the same accuracy of feelings as in The Father, his first film which won him two Oscars in 2021, including one for Anthony Hopkins. How a successful New York lawyer and family man who seems content with life comes up against the mental health issues of his depressed, beleaguered son (Zen McGrath).
Here he is helpless, helpless, looking for the right words, the right method to bring his child back to the world of the living. Is he guilty of his divorce from Kate (Laura Dern) and his newfound happiness with Beth (Vanessa Kirby) with whom he had another child? Hugh Jackman abandons here the claws of the famous Wolverine of the X-Men and gives his character a beautiful humanity, a disarming sincerity. You have to see him fight to avert this hopeless situation, to find the right solution. Isn't he himself also this son in front of his indifferent father (Anthony Hopkins, masterful) from whom he seeks help. Here we are dizzy: adolescent malaise is an enigma.
"The Son", indoor
If the image of water rising to crack all the dikes irresistibly brings to mind the war in progress, it is because Pommerat, always skilled at transforming fairy tales into dark nightmares, here probes the springs of an inevitable confrontation. The source of this drama therefore lies in the inability of the protagonists to put their differences into words. And because they fail to sit around a table to talk about it, the tragedy will only get worse. Far from the usual bombast of operatic writing, Pommerat's work here admirably emphasizes the silent character of its heroine. Composer Francesco Filidei, whose second opera this is, signs a disturbing score that underlines how deadly silence can be. The strings weave a climate all the more threatening as destabilizing sounds arise at regular intervals: friction of sandpaper, squeaking of baby toys and calls of birds. Masterful!
*"The Flood", at the Opéra comique, until March 5. Libretto by Joël Pommerat (based on the novel by Zamiatine), music by Francesco Filidei. Musical direction, Leonhard Garms. Directed by Joel Pommerat. Artistic collaborator, Valérie Nègre. With Chloé Briot, Jean-Christophe Lanièce, Norma Nahoun, Pauline Huriet, Enguerrand de Hys, Victoire Bunel, Guilhem Terrail, Tomislav Lavoie and the children of the Maître Populaire de l'Opéra Comique. Duration: 2 hours, without intermission.
There is fusion cuisine, but also fusion cities: Alexandria was the expression before fashion, and this mythical city, which has its Quartet (Durrell), its Quartet too (in Books, which brings together the texts of Herodotus , Diodore and other great pens about him), his poet, Cavafy, and his bards Moustaki and Claude François, without forgetting his Library, his museum and his lighthouse, is the subject of a quite striking exhibition: we indeed realizes from one showcase to another that, unlike other ancient capitals, Alexandria, founded in 331 BC. J.-C. by Alexander the Great, ex nihilo, there is nothing or almost nothing left and everything to imagine, or reinvent: like the Alexandrina, the library that twenty years ago came to link past and present. "Futurs anteriors", an exhibition at the Royal Museum of Mariemont, which stopped off at the Bozar in Brussels, is hosted by the Mucem of Marseille, a port and Mediterranean city too, recounts the past of the city destroyed by a tsunami in the 4th century and its present in a journey combining archeology and the gaze of contemporary artists. From its urbanity to its history, with a special mention for the reign of Ptolemy, mixing in an exceptional way the Egyptian and Greek civilizations, this very original walk gives back to the mythical city, capital of knowledge, all its radiation of syncretic capital in a scenography giving free rein to reverie.
Mucem, Marseille, until May 8
With her sulky pout, heavy dark hair and doe eyes, Gracie Abrams is described as the new Billie Eilish (one of her 1.4 million Instagram followers, by the way). The 23-year-old nepo-baby, daughter of JJ Abrams (creator of hit series Alias and Lost, and director of new Star Trek and Star Wars films), is one of the new voices of 2023. From her childhood under the Los Angeles palm trees and in devotion to Joni Mitchell, she keeps a diary whose pages she still blackens, the basis for her tender ballads exceeding 3.3 billion listens. She is releasing her first album today, co-written and produced by Aaron Dessner, founder of The National and producer of Taylor Swift's latest hits, which Gracie will soon be opening for. Her first concerts were also immediately sold out. Is it because for the past two years her face as Chanel muse has appeared on the cover of all the trendy fashion magazines? Or because it delicately explores romantic melancholy and post-breakup confusion, as in "Where Do We Go Now?" (whose music video was directed by Gia Coppola – granddaughter of…)? Gracie is simply touched by grace.
« Good Riddance » (Polydor/Universal)
Lotte Eisner's name is known to moviegoers for three reasons: books, an institution, and a miracle. The miracle, first: in 1974, hoping to ward off the illness that strikes the one he considers the godmother of German cinema, Werner Herzog walks from Munich to Neuilly-sur-Seine where she lives... Lotte Eisner recovers (her death occurs in 1983). The one Brecht called "the Eisnerin" wrote about Murnau, Fritz Lang and Expressionism. She was also an essential chief curator of the Cinémathèque française. I once had a beautiful homeland is his autobiography, which appears for the first time in French in a beautiful, richly illustrated edition. We discover, under the alert and mischievous pen, a family of the Jewish upper middle class where love of the fatherland is a religion, a youth marked by the nameless horror of the First World War, the cultural whirlwind of the 1920s where we meet Brecht, Pabst and of course Fritz Lang, until Nazism sounds the death knell of this effervescence. Thanks to the "Eisnerin" for making us revisit the century.
"Once I Had a Fair Country" by Lotte H. Eisner. Translated by Marie Bouquet. Marest Editor. 27 euros.