The Worst Ones
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 39m
Director(s): Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret
Writer(s): Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret, Elénore Gurrey
Cast: Mallory Wanecque, Timéo Mahaut, Johan Heldenbergh, Loïc Pech, Mélina Vanderplancke, Esther Archambault, Matthias Jacquin, Angélique Gernez, Dominique Frot, Rémy Camus
Where To Watch: Now Available for Purchase and Rental on all Major Digital Platforms, Including Kino Now, available on DVD here www.kinolorber.com or www.amazon.com
I need to start by saying that Mallory Wanecque (Lily) gave an Oscar-level performance in this film. I was blown away by every aspect of her performance; while this is her first acting credit, I can only hope it’s not her last! The passion she offers up and her screen presence is unique and resulted in an incredible film.
The film also featured Johan Heldenbergh (Gabriel), who I had previously seen in one of my favorite films, THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN (whose director is also premiering a film at Cannes, THE EIGHT MOUNTAINS. The more you watch, the more you research, and the more connections you find, and it’s part of what I enjoy so much about reviewing and watching movies.
I have a weakness for films about film, and this was no exception. There’s something magical and almost meta when you watch a movie, as though you’re watching a documentary but with a twist. Honestly, the first few scenes of the film were done in such a way that I thought it would be a documentary. One of my favorites is CINEMA PARADISO, and I think the ultimate love for cinema can be shown when you have characters acting about their passion for cinema in any way.
The irony is that the film took three years to get going; the original cast had outgrown their roles, so had it not been for this, we may never have seen Wanecque on screen. The team behind the film understood how vital their vision of realism was, and ultimately that’s how they succeeded in a movie that crossed genres from looking like a documentary about a film being made to be being a film about a documentary about a film being made (did you follow that?) It’s funny how fate has a way with things.
I found it truly interesting that the team worked on the editing of the film before even shooting the film. They had to work on the fly, but having mapped out an idea of the film helped the cinematographer Éric Dumont give the finished product a unique look that we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.
This is the debut feature-length film for director combo Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret. They previously had done a short film called CHASSE ROYALE with a similar yet different premise.
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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY/KINO LORBER]