Director: Christophe Honoré

Country: France

Year: 2022

Duration: 122 min

Languages: French / subtitled in English

Original name: Le lycéen

Category: ,

There is a knock on the door of the dormitory in the middle of the night, which wakes up teenager Lucas (Paul Kircher), dazed and confused. The serious face standing behind the door has come to inform Lucas that his father has been in a car accident and is now in the hospital. After a long drive, he is told that his father passed in the accident. Tears, cramps and shortness of breath take over the family, as if sadness was a disease, unstoppable by any face mask.

Amid the tragedy, Lucas is supported by his mother (Juliette Binoche) and his artistic big brother (Vincent Lacoste), who offers a lifeline to Lucas by inviting him for a week-long stay at his place in Paris. The beginning of a new chapter in the big city is enticing, but the pain caused by the death of his father clouds his mind like mountain mist, and hungry for new experiences and enticements, Lucas is driven towards casual sex and the lusts of the flesh.

After the sorrow-filled first act, Christophe Honoré’s film breathes harmoniously in all registers. The film depicts its characters in a multifaceted and merciful way – how, amid sorrow, we sometimes get lost and make foolish choices. At the glowing core of the film is Kirche’s breakthrough performance, the halo of which is circled by lots of humor, love and gentleness.

CHRISTOPHE HONORÉ (b. 1970) is an extremely prolific and seasoned writer-director experienced in playwriting and even children’s books. Honoré, who is influenced by the directors of the French New Wave, is known for his films that deal with homosexual life and relationships, such as Homme au bain (2010) and Plaire, aimer et courir vite (2018), as well as Les Chansons d’amour (2007), a musical influenced by Jacques Demy. Honoré’s films have premiered in competition at the most prestigious film festivals time and time again, and in addition to film, Honoré directs theatre and opera productions. Like his idols, he has also written for the Cahiers du Cinéma magazine.

Otto Kylmälä