Famous novel with multiple adaptations, Remi: Nobody's Boy returns on the occasion of the Holidays of Christmas under the leadership of Antoine Blossier and carried by Daniel Auteuil and Virginie Ledoyen. A project that is industrious, it owes its undeniable success to the talent of its director.
If the name of Antoine Blossier is not the most known of the French cinema, the French production already owes him a lot of things. Noticed with The Hunt, a horror movie about mutant wild boars as fragile as inventive and controlled, the filmmaker has chained with one of the most mutilated genres: the teen movies.
It already guessed a taste perfectly digested for the great figures of American cinema, and that is what Antoine Blossier deploys in the heart of Remi: Nobody's Boy. Not seeking to duplicate the cult anime of Osamu Dezaki, the director puts himself in the footsteps of the great directors of Hollywood cinema. From David Lean's spaces to John Ford's westerns. And if the photography of the film is sometimes a little too warm for its own good, its calibration here or there too flashy, this cinematographic language ensures the whole a spectacular dimension of the most seductive.
Being an accomplished visual artist, Blossier is not content to line up luxurious postcards, and enjoys multiplying citations and stylistic experiments. Evidenced by the impressive third act of the film, which recoils neither before the hardest twists of the original work, nor before the gothic ambitions of its director, who will go so far as to quote with a beautiful malice Massacre at the chain saw.
However, we still feel here and there some flaws, especially in the beginning of the film, where the few weaknesses of interpretation of the young Maleaume Paquin are particularly glaring and where the tone of the whole seems all the more uncertain. that the voice-over provided by Jacques Perrin appears as starched as heavily used. Similarly, the adaptation choices made sometimes reflect a little too much of the need to decide in the text of Hector Malot, while others (the change of sex of a character, the disappearance of a few beasties) seem a artificial or cosmetic.
But then we have the unexpected and singularly effective binder that allows to pass beyond proves, against all odds, Daniel Auteuil. We had not seen the actor so well employed and directed for several years. Warm, charismatic, it exists in the manner of a real special effect, evolving perfectly within its decorum of companions and accessories, and ensuring perfectly the navigation of the spectator between the drama, the epic, and the edifying narrative of Christmas.
Driven by a beautiful child's soul that gives him a touching sincerity, Blossier signs a beautiful tale full of emotion and tenderness, led notably by a Daniel Auteuil that we had not seen so convincing for a long time, and who imposes a gentle paternalistic warmth alongside young Maleaume Paquin and his disarming angelic face. Remi: Nobody's Boy, one by one, shoots all the expected clichés and passages typical of his genre, while affirming a very French formal aesthetics, but the candid naiveté in which he bathes, allows him to transform what could have been faults.
Small touches of dreamlike power of the initiatory narrative, the film manages to touch what he sought to achieve, namely the flavor of a beautiful adventure alternately joyful and exalted with melancholy and cruelty. In the end, here is a successful classic adaptation that flies over a retro tone, coupled with a beautiful revisit of a touching story we all know and love, it's adorable.