Grief is a wild animal: nobody knows what it will do next. In Christophe Honoré’s Winter Boy (Le Lycéen), high-school student Lucas (Paul Kircher) is asleep in his dorm when his older brother Quentin (Vincent Lacoste) and a family friend burst in. His father has had an accident. By the time they reach their small town in the foothills of the French Alps, Lucas has realized his father is dead.
Relatives mill around the house, greeting and eating. Lucas’ mother Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) descends the stairs; clearly, she is only just holding back hysteria. Lucas can’t hold anything back. First he is numbed, mechanically asking after the visitors’ health. Then he goes to his room, thrashes on his bed and howls like a banshee. He’s only 17. His grief is going to fill the house. It may fill the world. He tries to think about his mother, but he hasn’t really got room for thinking. His grief is everything.
Honoré has had something of a shifting identity as a director in the past, working in different modes and voices, but he positions himself here as heir to the aesthetic and attitudes of the French New Wave. He has made no bones about the fact that this is a version of his own story. He plays the father himself in a couple of early scenes, gently warning his son to concentrate on his studies. He wishes he had. Maybe then he would have a better life now. Later this wistful reflection heaves into prominence in Lucas’s mind. Did his father kill himself?
He thoughtlessly puts this to his mother, who reacts with an explosion of furious agony. Binoche is raw, manic, maternal, real. She can sell pure feeling like nobody else. When his brother tries to defuse the hothouse atmosphere at home by taking Lucas to Paris for a week, Lucas throws himself into casual sex. Sex with hook-ups, attempts to have sex with his brother’s avuncular flatmate Lilio (Erwan Kepoa Falé), sex with rough men who will pay for it. Quentin, in one of his eruptions of fury, throws him out. His own grief is driving him to work around the clock. He isn’t a babysitter.
Honoré works with a sort of narrative uncertainty principle. His account of the family’s tumult sweeps like windscreen wipers from the endless wake to Lucas’ risky sex life, back to the brothers’ scrapping and back again to Lucas’ increasing confusion, continually spreading out and then peeling back the surface of their lives. The camera stays close to them, rarely pulling back further than the opposite wall of a small room. The psychiatric hospital where Lucas is eventually confined, lined with airy cloisters, is paradoxically one of the few spaces in the film that feels open and free.
The characters lurch back and forth in the same way; Isabelle is convulsed one moment, then consumed with the need to look after her cubs the next, while Kircher’s Lucas is emotionally everywhere. He will give up school and look after his mother; he will detach himself from everything and live alone; he will continue his education in a different town; he will give up speaking altogether, like a Trappist monk. Newcomer Kircher’s open, guileless face is a gift, reminding us that even when Lucas is at his most brazenly debauched, he is really just a kid. He could go in any direction. Kircher shared the Best Leading Performance Silver Shell at the San Sebastián Film Festival for his role. The film reaches a conclusion that is satisfying but open-ended. You can’t help but wonder what Lucas did next.
Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs
Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’
Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.
Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’
EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.
London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul
To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide
‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards
Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.
Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.
The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)
Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.
In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.
Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.
Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.
Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.
The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.
Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark
EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.
Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.
Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:
While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.
Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide. As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.
On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”
Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.
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