Wednesday, March 1, 2023

French Movie Mercredi: Félix et Lola (2001)


Félix et Lola (2001). Starring Philippe Torreton and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Directed by Patrice Leconte.

A fairgrounds operator, Félix, played by Philippe Torreton, becomes enamored of Lola, an enigmatic young woman who hangs out at the fairgrounds and gets a job there. She is played by a morose short-haired Charlotte Gainsbourg. She has some kind of shady past and present connected to a singer whom Félix is seen shooting at the beginning of the movie.

I have to say this is one of the blander of Leconte's offerings, at least in my opinion. I love Charlotte Gainsbourg- she is both French movie royalty as the daughter of icons Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin and an icon in her own right- but her heavy eye makeup, sloppy hair and downcast attitude render her character kind of like a My Chemical Romance song come to life and I'm not sure I get what Félix sees in her. Or what she sees in Félix, who doesn't seem to have a lot to offer either.

Leconte does a nice job with that opening scene building interest and suspense. I think I like Leconte more when he's using source material he didn't create himself, like with Monsieur Hire, or when there is a little more pointed satire, like Ridicule. I want to watch Ridicule again now that I mention it and maybe some of his other movies that I saw a long time ago like The Hairdresser's Husband and The Widow of St. Pierre. I think I can blame a lot of my adolescent and post-adolescent angst on him. This movie would not have made much of an impression even on teenage Marie though. 

You can watch this on a Sunday morning but your attention might wander if you have breakfast with it. I watched it on a Sunday night and it did not 100% hold mine. Maybe this is one for Leconte completeists only.

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