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[CRITICAL] The IDEAL

Second film of Frédéric Beigbeder after The Love lasts three years, the director remains in familiar territory as it goes beyond the adaptation of his own novel ” Au secours Pardon “, released in 2007, and in the book a more modern version.

It returns you in the critical comments made by Frederic Beigbeder at presentation of The IDEAL in Bordeaux.

As you say it immediately: we loved this film that takes so jubilant all the faces of his “CHALLENGE”: Excessive, Derision, Decadence, Desire, Disappointment, Disgust ! Kitsch to perfection, sometimes trash, sometimes subtle, The IDEAL is drôlissime in a total and blissful Excess ! It is simple, it’s like the characters straight out of the advertisements of luxury magazine that is today the director. With them, a scene off the wall, which gives beautiful colors to the photography to the aesthetic of the sublime –ha this red!- and the music –pop pep like a bubble of champagne !

Of course, we advise you not to take everything at first degree, to sharpen your sense of humor, put your handkerchief on ultra-feminism and puritanism and accept that it will be treated serious issues – the commodification of young women mannequins, and the dictates of the youth – on the mode of Derision. This satire, it is the best possible way to Denounce !

The IDEAL denounces the excesses and vulgarity of these worlds of appearance, of the company, of power, of the press, of the superfluous, of the image of feminism, well-thinking, politically correct, of the Internet and of the consequences of the State of emergency. Octave, who was working in the pub in 99 Francs already adapted from the novel by Frederic Beigbeder by Jan Kounen in 2007, is now a “model scout” in the service of an old Russian billionaire lustful at the head of an agency of mannequins. It has a mission to find him a new young women, who turn out, the best commercials, the worst of erotic films. Regardless of the clichés outrageous, the extremes of this environment are very well described : new rich, drugs, vodka, gigantic feasts (amazing scenes of the rollercoaster and the next day’s sordid fiesta) and beautiful dolls !

The reverse dull side of the coin is also ultra present, and Octave do we hide anything. Octave has the look sharp and the mechanics of the researcher of the rare pearl, but also disabused of that which passes for women by women, without a soul or Desire. Octave, alter ego film by Frédéric Beigbeder, is interpreted by Gaspard Proust. Who knows the quirky spirit of the humorist will not be surprised to learn that he has worked his way to the scenario, with no less than four stooges of the director, including the duo of Nicolas and Bruno (Bruno Lavaine and Nicolas Charlet already co-writers of 99 swiss Francs).


“I tried to describe a universe glitzy, glamorous, decadent and jargon that I know well, that I like, that fascinates me and which I can’t escape, but that disgusts me also. I wanted to share my experience and me making fun of an era of images. I don’t know how to do a manifesto seriously, I wanted to make a pamphlet and laughing. There has not been a lot of satires since the death of Jean Yanne; there were Zoolander, The Devil wears Prada. But I’m not doing the film committed, I want to show behind the scenes. My idea is to appeal to an audience wide enough for him to open his eyes and if, after a teenager looks at a bus shelter differently I would have won !” Frédéric Beigbeder

“My hero is tired, disillusioned. It has the air of a dream job but the scan physical influence the Desire of these model scouts that I’ve encountered. They become cynical. The scene of helplessness Octave makes me laugh, it makes you sympathetic to the woman !” Frédéric Beigbeder


Gaspard Proust is perfect in the role of the cynical world-weary, and addressed to the spectator to comment on his acts and thoughts. Its flight before it evokes her loneliness and the emptiness of the meaning of his life. It is not a dupe of himself, which makes it heinous.

Very anchored in our time, The IDEAL is obviously referring to recent scandals that have been confronting the world of cosmetics and fashion. This cheerful mix has offered the writers a source material of a very clever sense of humour and it was fun to identify these different moments in The IDEAL –such as the blowing of the lead designers or the revelations of the private affairs of bosses of big companies.

“The Ideal is a satire of the world of fashion, which assumes so jubilant all the faces of his “CHALLENGE”: Desire, Excess, Derision, Decadence, Disillusionment and Disgust !”

Carine Wang, director, dictator of the world leader in cosmetics The IDEAL makes use Octave to find the young woman who will replace the supermodel of the firm, involved in the international scandal of dissemination on the Internet of a video a bit special. Good idea for the character of Karen, this is Jonathan Lambert as a woman. Totally believable, you forget he is a man who interprets a woman, you can’t see that Carine. The dialogues of his character are a real treat and make a big impression. Carine assistant to our hero, Valentine, Visual Coach World, a sort of Anna Wintour, interpreted by Audrey Fleurot, always very fair in the roles to be extravagant.


“Michel Houellebecq had said yes to interpret Carine in drag, I had planned to give him a look to the Françoise Sagan. And then, ultimately, it is Jonathan who embodies, it was already part of my band with Gaspard for The Love lasts three years.” Frédéric Beigbeder

“My film is full of paradoxes, I expose my contradictions and those of the current society without giving moral lessons. I’m curious to see how The IDEAL will be welcomed by the public. And if the critics don’t like, I hope they will do so with talent and will find arguments, otherwise I will be disappointed ! Frédéric Beigbeder


The scene of the War Room, and its trade on the mode of apocalyptic, is very well seen. The meeting of these two lost souls will be beneficial, but not the way you expect; they don’t tell you anything but their buddy will go beyond nice surprises. Of course, the director pushed the boat out very far in his scenario, but the choice of the excess ultimate as a vector of the film is assumed, and reaches the result sought : we are shocked by this fairy tale modern, but mostly we laugh… yellow, but we laugh !

It could be argued that the director simply to denounce and not to propose solutions, as much as he is involved by his other job, but it leads us to awareness and reflection, which is already a good start !

Interview by Sylvie-Noelle

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