Comedy by Ali Asgari and Alireza Khatami, 1:17 p.m

The film by Ali Asgari and Alireza Khatami is behind closed doors. Or rather several closed doors. Nine vignettes. Nine slices of life staged according to an immutable system. A sequence shot. A fixed camera. A character filmed head-on. A man declares the birth of his son. David? The first name is prohibited. The employee refuses to record it. Why promote a foreign culture instead of giving your child an Iranian name? A young man comes to collect his driving license. The interview turns into an interrogation. He is ordered to undress to reveal the tattoos that cover his body. An unemployed man applies for a job. The interview turns into humiliation. The protagonists’ interlocutors remain off-screen. From time to time we see a hand enter the frame but we never see their face. We hear their voices. Feminine sometimes. Often male. These absurd and tragicomic dialogues often have no ending. Sometimes a fall closes the scene. Ali Asgari and Alireza Khatami filmed in seven days. In 1 hour 17 minutes, Chronicles of Tehran shows in a striking way the ordinary workings of a totalitarian regime. E.S.

Also readOur review of Chronicles of Tehran: Ubu in Iran

Comedy by Guillaume Nicloux, 1h28

Engine ! We enter the life of Michel Houellebecq. The air dull, the conversation weary, recovered from everything, no longer seeming surprised by anything, the writer plays at being himself. We find him on a Parisian sidewalk, his wheeled suitcase in hand, waiting for a taxi to the airport. He is going to the West Indies to present a book, he said to the driver who recognized him. Luc, a lymphatic and bearded colossus, joins him. Friend, bodyguard? A white limousine awaits them upon arrival. She will never leave them again. In the Skin of Blanche Houellebecq is a road movie. The heroes are ruined. Houellebecq poses in a white bathrobe at the edge of the hotel swimming pool. He almost drowns: “Actually, I don’t know how to swim. » “You have a body more from the tertiary sector,” Blanche Gardin reassures him. The comedian plays herself: two rebels on the ropes. She came to chair a jury of Houellebecq lookalikes. The author of Plateforme listens to the irascible comedian lecturing him after his controversial interview with Michel Onfray. He spoke ill of Islam. All this bores him. She advises him to keep quiet. They’re trying a powerful hallucinogen. Things are getting confusing. Blanche and Michel find themselves bound by handcuffs. The situation is incredible, the dialogues mind-blowing. In the Skin of Blanche Houellebecq is a contemporary, hilarious, self-deprecating fable about the duty of silence. We can’t say anything anymore. Blanche Gardin gets angry: “Why do you call us little white people? They don’t call you the big black guy! » She can’t believe that she is being accused of all the evils even though she is on the left. This is the subliminal questioning of Guillaume Nicloux. Where is this world going in which the moral left has lost its impunity? Michel Houellebecq seems to have chosen the only obvious path: to no longer speak. B.D.S.V

Also readOur review of the film In the Skin of Blanche Houellebecq: the carp and the audience

Black comedy by Thea Sharrock, 1h40

Scandalously Yours traces a news item that hit the headlines in England in the 1920s. A small coastal town, Littlehampton, is the target of a crow with flowery language and beautiful calligraphy. His filthy letters, and improbable in their hyperbole, target Edith, an old maid caring for her conservative father who sees the work of the devil everywhere. Edith suspects Rose, her single mother neighbor, of being the author. The one who closed the pub didn’t hesitate to stand up to Edith’s father. Soon the picrocholine quarrel landed on the police desk. With consequences that go far beyond the comic harangues between Rose and Edith. For Olivia Colman, the tragedy of Scandalously Yours is that Rose and Edith had everything to become allies. Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley starred in The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Netflix adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel. But playing the same character of an overwhelmed mother at different ages, they never spoke to each other. With regret. The actresses had established a real camaraderie on the set “ drinking and singing every night”. When reading the script for Scandalously Yours, Olivia Colman immediately thought of her friend for the fiery Rose. Moved by this heroine, “perceived as monstrous by her peers”, who “yet refuses to give in despite the rejection she is subjected to”, Jessie Buckley appreciated returning “to a lighter and funny register”. And to welcome “a film which twists the neck of a corseted, polished vision à la Downton Abbey, that we could have of the women of the time”. C.J.

Also read: Scandalously yours: Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley, best friends in English cinema

Comedy by Maxime Govare and Romain Choay, 1h43

A car hurtles through the streets of Marseille, almost knocking down pedestrians before ending its mad dash on a market square, surrounded by police officers on edge. We are not in yet another version of the Taxi franchise, but in the prologue to Happy Winners, a much more striking and amusing comedy. On board the vehicle, a powerful duo formed by Audrey Lamy and Fabrice Éboué. On the road to their family vacation, they find a forgotten Lotto ticket in the glove compartment. Which turns out to be worth 5 million euros! But, by a double Kiss Cool effect, it is about to expire. Failing to lose everything, they have less than ten minutes left to validate it in the nearest La Française des jeux center. This sketch comedy is off to a strong start, and it’s not going to stop. Four stories follow one another, united under the same catchy pitch: “1 chance in 19 million. More likely to be hit by a meteorite than to win the Lotto. » The shock will be brutal. Confronted with the jackpot, the characters see their lives turned upside down and their commitments, in light of the winnings, reevaluated for the better, but especially for the worse. They have nothing in common, but they all share the same experience, that of a total loss of control in the face of greed. The twists and turns are numerous, the situations as funny as they are cheeky. Maxime Govare and Romain Choay, co-authors and directors of this biting farce, do not take half measures. V.B.

Also readOur review of the film Happy Winners: will he hit the jackpot?

Drame de Sean Price Williams, 1h44

A high school student bored in her hometown, Lilian takes advantage of a school trip to run away and discover her country. The further his journey takes him from Washington, the more we sink into the fable. Anti-capitalist punks, a white supremacist university professor, two dreamy Hollywood directors and ending with a group of young Arabs fascinated by weapons, Lilian plays on her charm without getting all her benefactors into bed. She hangs out with all the outsiders and conspiracy theorists in America. Each projecting preconceived ideas onto her that the kid continues to thwart. There are little touches of Easy Rider in this increasingly absurd and hallucinatory odyssey, carried by the mutinous and thieving Talia Ryder. This Alice in Wonderland, discovered in the poignant abortion film Never Rarely Sometimes Always, blurs the weaknesses of certain stages. The Sweet East by Sean Price Williams is one of the beautiful gems unearthed last year by the Deauville Festival, which rightly awarded it the jury prize. The filmmaker draws a map of American ideological divides that are only intensifying. He immortalizes landscapes and towns with a grainy film that gives the appearance of a waking dream (or nightmare) to this funny adventure. C.J.

Also read: Our review of the film The Sweet East: a hallucinatory road trip to the heart of American neuroses

Comedy by Paola Cortellesi, 1h59

Every morning, when she wakes up, she receives a slap. In bed, her husband, Ivano, has a quick hand. These were the customs of Roman families in the immediate post-war period. Have things changed? That’s the question that Italian director Paola Cortellesi, who also stars in There’s Still Tomorrow, seems to be asking herself? In his eyes, the answer is obvious. For ours too, the film does not hesitate to put on big shoes. Delia is a victim of domestic violence. She secretly saves money to offer her eldest an engagement worthy of the name. The two cadets are untenable. They fight, say bad words, in short, future machos. The father-in-law occupies a room in the apartment. This libidinous old man doesn’t take off his pajamas and advises his son on the best way to beat his wife. All the time, it’s too much, therefore ineffective. Better a good beating at spaced intervals. We verify that the lecherous grandpa had invented masculinism before anyone else. Obviously, that idiot Ivano, with his skin knitwear and his damaged hair, spends his evenings at the bistro. Brave, poor Delia, gives injections to people’s homes, sews and assembles umbrellas. Escape would be the solution. This housewife under 50 doesn’t see it that way. A letter arrives that has a chance of changing his destiny. Above all, the brutal husband must not fall for it. 1946 is approaching. Women will soon have the right to vote. What suspense! The city is rising from its rubble. Paola Cortellesi films it in slick, clean black and white, like an advertisement for al dente pasta. The beginner hesitates on the tone to give, neorealism or Italian comedy. It’s not Dino Risi who wants. If the subject is laudable, touching, the naivety leads here to clumsiness, with an anachronistic soundtrack, marshmallow songs and photo novel accents. IN.

Also readOur review of There is still tomorrow: women and blows