Plaire, aimer et courir vite / Sorry Angel
Christophe Honoré – France
IN A NUTSHELL
Set in the early 1990s, at the height of the AIDs epidemic, this drama follows the life of Arthur (Vincent Lacoste) a 20-year old student, studying in Rennes. His life changes when he met Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), a writer who lives in Paris with his young son. All summer long, Arthur and Jacques’s relationship blossoms into some more than just sexual. But Jacques knows that this kind of love needs to live fast, as he’s been giving a life sentence, Jacques has AIDs. (by Bianca Garner)
“Sorry Angel meanders and sometimes plods, but Honoré has created some powerfully standout sequences. Jacques brings a former lover in the last stages of AIDS to stay briefly at his apartment because he has nowhere else to go. He holds the emaciated, bruised man in his arms in the bathtub, tenderly caressing and bathing him and kissing his cheeks in what both know will be the last act of their friendship.” – – – – – Barbara Scharres, RogerEbert.com
“For years, ‘gay movies’ were practically a genre unto themselves, neatly conforming to one of three categories: stories about coming out, stories about unrequited love, and stories about the impact of AIDS. Sorry Angel succeeds in ticking all three boxes without falling into any one. Makes no apologies about the frank treatment of its characters’ sexuality represents a major stride in the treatment of gay relationships on-screen.” – – – – – Peter Debruge, Variety
“It’s far more interested in the almost military logistics of burgeoning passion – the question of how far Jacques should allow Arthur into his life – than any conventional strains of lugubrious melodrama. There’s probably not a single scene or sequence which stands out on its own, but that’s perhaps part of what makes this film so good: its dedication to a delicately heightened form of realism which never pulls you away from the intensity of the moment.” – – – – – David Jenkins, Little White Lies
Christophe Honoré’s attempts at recapturing the 1990s era through not just the subject of AIDS, but also the music of the time, may hit a nerve with many. And that’s likely a very good thing, given that such a film’s impact, happy or sad, are part of why we love the movies. True, the painful theme of the movie, and the romance between the two men, may be powerful enough to strike a chord with the jury.
Openly gay himself, Honoré has dealt with such themes in his recent film career, and it is over 10 years since he was last in competition at Cannes. So though not a household name at the festival, he has history. Will it be enough to have him in conversation as a potential winner of the Screenplay or Director prizes? I am just not feeling it, again because of other films in the competition. Such a scatty selection of Best Actor contenders, but Vincent Lacoste and Pierre Deladonchamps sharing the prize is a huge gamble. Queer Palme is a safer bet.