A year after The white knights Joachim Lafosse is looking back in the registry intimate of the family unit with The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE. A theme that is dear to him since he had already explored in A perdre la raison in 2010, Bare ownership in 2006 or even Madness private in 2004. This eighth feature film, presented at the Directors ‘ Fortnight at Cannes, is played this time in the shelter of the lock-up of a bourgeois house in which Joachim Lafosse brings to the stage the separation of a couple and the break-up inevitably painful to a family. About strong, however, Joachim Lafosse don’t want to address his film through the prism of a pathos bombastic or hysteria theatrical as it was prepared. He prefers to opt for the distance of an impartial observer, the neutrality of an outside gaze impassive as that of a judge will have to decide on the future of the new partition, the family and the organization and real estate. At the center of the debate : the house. Its value, its cost, his share but also the work, shopping, and day care. The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE brings to light this suspended time which we do not know if it is too long to be bearable or too short to allow time to repair which still has hope of being. A time faded where at the time of the dislike comes that of the addition ; a time when they need to sit down and do the accounts. What is the price of what we have lived ? What have you brought as added value to our lives ? How much cost our sacrifices ? Mine were bigger than yours ?

The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE weighs, evaluates, gauge, and organizes. Joachim Lafosse us, tells the story of a battlefield home whose reminiscences of past happiness, are only visible at the discretion of the children’s drawings displayed on the refrigerator door or trinkets brought back from vacation. The gentle daily yesterday was gloomy mutated today into a sequence of contingencies, logistical and financial. The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE is the story of a separation where the sharing, the division of the space, goods, and souvenirs is the price to pay for the failure in love.

Bérénice Bejo and Cédrick Kahn interpret Marie and Boris. After fifteen years together, they split up, but for reasons of money, they have no other choice than to continue to cohabit. He has no job, she has assumed the daily. It has made a small office in his apartment illegal, it governs the time still shared, and keeps the balance… all under the eyes of their twin, collateral victims of the silent heartbreak.

The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE, or the diving dramatico-home in the small family business. Some will speak of fairness, and even decency in the discussion of directed by Joachim Lafosse as the director films the evils of the conflict rather than the conflict itself. It seems to deny the pathos and prefers dignity. The pain is contained, stowed under the carpet, reduced such as saliva bitter. And if its about the ambition of a certain density, it often leaves the feeling of a polishing, a processing sub-incarnate, as a posture, the theoretical and the brain suffers not embrace what is essential in the drama of the separation : the violence and the pain. Yes this pain we guess, it is there but most presumed that palpable. The two actors do not shine. Bérénice Bejo and Cédrick Kahn no longer love one another but Lafosse never manages to generate the feeling and emotion of their past love. Then, performance of actors mixed or direction to the touch ?

“The sensation of the polishing process, a processing sub-incarnate, as a posture, the theoretical and the brain, which suffers not embrace what is essential in the drama of the separation. “

The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE seems to sin by overinvestment of the writing and the intellectualization of the subject. The scenario in the text, appears to be executed with the meticulous attention of a partition perfectly thought, but far too rigorous. The dialogues lack organic matter, they are not imbued with the singular wound to the couple, they are standard, well-chosen words, to be righteous, but sound like empty shells. In The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE are repeats, often, without ever that this repetition does more annoying, oppressive or does not stress the rise of the bitterness and the anger that Lafosse wants yet put on stage. The sequences follow one after the other, without being devoid of interest, but all fall into the same tone, a warmth is damaging and, unfortunately, unchangeable. Two scenes remain in my head. On two occasions Joachim Lafosse manages to find its intensity and generates the emotion. A dinner between friends or a dance to four on Bella of Maître Gims pass the time of a few minutes to move us. The film then takes the magnitude that it deserves, tragic and heart-rending. Unfortunately, these little pearls will be drowned out by 1h40 of flatness.

Despite all the film is not without a certain degree of mastery in the achievement. The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE is full of plans sequences visually and narrativement very timely and relatively uninspiring. From the opening scene and at many other times, the immersion in the place and the intimacy of the couple is powerful. It follows the characters of parts in the corridors, this wandering of the camera is ours, and we grab your attention immediately. The house, quite literally, the fifth character of the family, bears the scars of the conflict. It has been shaped by a link that is broken, the door glass of the office is today covered with kraft paper to hide the extra bed, the kitchen mark the hours according to what they cook in the pan. These plans sequences provide an intrusion is deep and pervasive in the nooks and crannies of this house many times traversed, but now in the process of being deserted. The melancholy in Joachim Lafosse then reads in the decor.

The ECONOMY OF the COUPLE, paints a picture quite right to the tangible reality and the material of the common life, a reality that breaks into the emotional sphere up to the numb and the tip in a love lost. When, with time, everyone becomes greedy for control, or casually, when there was more balance and that year after year, this imbalance is tolerated up until then changed into bitterness, self-renunciation and self-abnegation, The ECONOMY OF the TORQUE provides a chronicle of separation where love is crumbling under the weight of the administration. A strong project on paper, but it has failed to Joachim Lafosse letting go of intellectual that would have allowed it to capture a truth. His film theorizes more than he gives to live. Damage.

Sarah Benzazon

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