A Sala Llena

Subtotal: $0,00
No products in the cart.

#CANNES77 | Le deuxième acte

#CANNES77 | Le deuxième acte


Quentin Dupieux is a filmmaker that got a handle on his craft 17 years after his directorial debut. Since his beginnings he was some sort of rarity, a weirdo that could not be figured out in a cinematic sense, an affirmation that can be exemplified with early efforts that have almost no dialogue, among which Rubber stands out, which tells the story of a murdering tire. His progress was made evident with films such as Deerskin, where a clear change in registry within his comedies could be identified, which were linked to absurdity, and then on could also be linked to drama.

Starting in 2020, Dupieux doubled his slate of features, releasing projects such as Incredible but True and Smoking Causes Coughing in 2022, and extraordinary titles like Yannick and Daaaaaalí!

Dupieux was molding and perfecting the structure of his work starting from this period towards a much more finished and linear conception of what would be his cinema today. The Second Act –the film selected to open the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival– is his best film and the result of that progress hereby noted.

The Second Act starts with a trip towards a closed restaurant set on an isolated location. We see the nervous owner park his car at the door and open for business. We continue with a conversation between two friends (David –Louis Garrel- and Willy –Raphaël Quenard), shot in an oblique angle leaning to the left and sustained that way for quite a while. David brings up that he wants to introduce Willy to a woman in the restaurant that is stalking him and for which he feels nothing; as much as he exhaustedly reiterates how beautiful she is, nothing is going on with her. Willy is a politically incorrect character, who spills out all kinds of demeaning words about women, their physical appearance and sexual identity. In that moment, Dupieux begins to hand out hints that throughout the film will put on display the originality of its script: breaking the fourth wall, going off-script and talking to the audience, the crew and even the director of the film Willy is a character of. Even David brings up the subject of being cancelled for these comments, something that the audience on the other side of the screen might sense about premises that could not be made into films today.

The use of political incorrectness in The Second Act is one of its strongest suits, until Dupieux deals with yet another layer of the script, which involves splitting the characters in such a way that creates confusion in the audience by making them decipher what is fiction and what is not.

Coupled within the same shot, but to the left of the characters, the camera follows a father and his daughter (Florence –Léa Seydoux- and Guillaume –Vincent Lindon-). They also head for the restaurant to attend the meeting with David. Conflicts are introduced symmetrically that once again break the wall of fiction. In this way, joining along who opened the bar there is a waiter/actor who is quite nervous that cannot even pour a glass of wine on account of his shaking hands, because it is his first time working in a film.

Dupieux utilizes the subgenre of “film within a film”, as it happened in Yannick with its “cinema within theatre” but in a much more agile way than movies that broke the fourth wall before such as The Purple Rose of Cairo and Last Action Hero. Here the alternation between fiction and non-fiction is constant, confusing the audience for a while and imposing a game that, as a viewer, can be enjoyable. There are gags that, although working quite well and turning out to be funny, end up repeating themselves unnecessarily. We will all laugh when we find out that Guillaume is called on the phone while he is with his daughter, to be informed that he was chosen by a director like Paul Thomas Anderson and the call is for the actor portraying Guillaume rather than the character being portrayed. Comings and goings that seem very spontaneous and work out wonderfully against other script choices, starting with the repeating gag of the actor that cannot serve a glass of wine properly.

At the same time, the performances by the excellent cast make Dupieux surpass and make a reversion of himself towards a state of making him wish to believe that he himself directed this film.

Director/Screenwriter: Quentin Dupieux. Cast: Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Vincent Lindon, Raphaël Quenard. Producer: Hugo Sélignac. Runtime: 80 minutes.


Also you can read...

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles