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News continuously caught in its own trap: in “France”, which comes out on October 27 in our theaters, Léa Seydoux plays a star TV journalist in a forced-line caricature that points to the pitfalls of an unloved profession .
In the film, signed Bruno Dumont, France de Meurs is the star presenter and reporter for a news channel, dubbed “i” – any resemblance to a channel that has existed is probably not accidental. Microphone in hand, France is on all terrains, chaining the reports in which she stages herself, from the Elysee Palace to a meeting with anti-Daesh fighters in the Sahel.
Her omnipresent assistant Lou, brilliantly embodied by comedian Blanche Gardin, represents her part of the devil: obsessed with the image on social networks, cynical, insensitive, she considers that all means are good to reach journalistic glory. Fred, the husband of France (Benjamin Biolay), writer, walks his existential spleen.
Under its veneer of an upstart without faith or law, ready to do anything to shine, France navigates between the two characters.
Côte farce, “France” makes tons about the excesses of journalism, with a reporter who makes her technicians take all the risks, directs her reports and pushes herself off the collar during a first funny sequence at a press conference facing Emmanuel Macron.
But it is also intended to be a reflection on the contradictions of a profession which, according to the director, sums up our society: “Journalists are very interesting specimens of modernity,” he told AFP in Cannes. “The journalist has a heroic mission of truth and is embarked on an industry which needs returns. It is an absolutely unresolved conflict and one which cannot be resolved”.
For France, which evolves in a parallel universe, between her reports and her sumptuous apartment on the Place des Vosges, things begin to be troubled when she overturns a scooter. For the first time, facing the young man she injured, the varnish seems to crack.
A complex character, will France choose between her profession and her principles? Léa Seydoux, omnipresent on the screen where she often bursts into tears, is “a real heroine” interpreted by an actress “magnificent, sensitive to what she does”, welcomes Bruno Dumont who wrote the film for her.
“There is something very human about her, a kind of coexistence between turpitude and grace”. Reporting with migrants, she will risk her skin, then film herself in their midst as if lost in the open sea … before joining her team’s boat which sails alongside.
Bruno Dumont, a readily burlesque filmmaker, whose last films resembled the UFO, like his work in two parts on Joan of Arc, this time delivers a cinema a little more general public, whose soundtrack is signed Christophe, who died in April 2020. But he always ensures to be wary of easy solutions and moral lessons.
“I do not hit the media, I am not stupid”, underlines the director who intends on the other hand to point out the “dilemma” in which journalists would find themselves, “a kind of guilt” between the activity “very noble of journalism “and what is” corrupted by the industry “.
France, she “does not seek the ideal, but perseveres in what she does. She goes back to her job and says to herself” I’m going to do my best “. If people were already doing that, that would be very good” , continues the 63-year-old filmmaker.
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