Stéphane Brizé scores a ‘Lost in Translation’ with a sublime Alba Rohrwacher

Stéphane Brizé scores a ‘Lost in Translation’ with a sublime Alba Rohrwacher
Stéphane Brizé scores a ‘Lost in Translation’ with a sublime Alba Rohrwacher

Stephane Brizé (Rennes, 1966) finished in 2021 his trilogy of worka project dominated by the powerful presence of actor Vincent Lindon, which brought to light the most perverse face of capitalism.

Although irregular, The law of the market (2015), At war (2018) y A new world (2021) are gritty films of social criticism that have made Brizé one of the most sought-after French directors at major festivals. His new film, Out of seasonstill being a turn towards romantic drama of Miss Chambon (2009), also debuted in Venice.

In a sales department conclave the film could be defined as a mix between Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) y Before sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004), as it is a story starring an actor in a slump in which a love from the past returns unexpectedly. And it is a success for the director: For all its simplicity, the film is a model of sensitivity, which does not leave aside a healthy irony.

It all starts when Mathieu (Guillaume Canet) arrives at a luxurious spa resort in Switzerland. Depression haunts him after he abandons the preparation of a play that was to be his theatre debut when he was over fifty. The place, however, does not lessen his anxiety.

Con a slow pace, long, static, symmetrical shots, and a trotting, melancholic musicBrizé shows us Mathieu’s retreat, which unfolds between boredom and absolute pathos.

But luck, that circumstance so repudiated in cinema and which here serves as a narrative engine, makes Mathieu he meets Alice (Alba Rohrwacher), the woman with whom he shared his life before making it big in the movieswho now lives with her husband and daughter in the spa town. Always using the right distance to capture the emotions, Brizé takes great care to film several encounters between the former lovers.

There is nothing really original in Out of seasonneither in its plot nor in its staging, but two extravagant sequences: the interview with a home camera and the performance of the bird imitators. But The film is memorable for the truth that its characters conveythanks to two wonderful performances that say much more than some very measured dialogues.

Canet exposes his insecurities (the receding hairline, the grey hair, the gradual loss of vision…) in Mathieu, a narcissistic and simple-minded actor, but with a magnetic charm. Rohrwacher, on the other hand, is sublime as the supposedly happy mother, as the woman frustrated by her work life, as the abandoned lover who was on the verge of madness. At once seductive and fragile, Rohrwacher’s Alice justifies the price of admission.

Out of season

Address: Stephane Brizé.

Script: Stéphane Brizé and Marie Drucker.

Interpreters: Guillaume Canet, Alba Rohrwacher, Sharif Andoura and Lucette Beudin.

Year: 2023.

Premiere: 3rd of July

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