REVIEW / FILM OPINION – Fabienne Berthaud tells with an often overwhelming simplicity in “Tom”, how a young boy commits to carefully repair adults with a stolen past. The actors are brilliant, just as much as the film’s speech warms the heart.
A humble film for a great story
Writer and director Fabienne Berthaud loves nature and people, and filming this and them in the margins. On the fringes of a society that disturbs individuals and has as many complexities as these individuals have authentic and simple desires to live. After A bigger worldwho took Cécile de France on a shamanic journey to the borders of Mongolia, the director presents emptyadapted from the novel by Barbara Constantine Tom, little Tom, little little man, Tom.
empty is the story of a young boy, Tom (Tanguy Mercier), whose birth was undesirable and who lives alone with his mother Jocelyne, “Joss” (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), in a mobile home isolated somewhere on the edge of a northern forest. . Despite the precarious situation, mother and child maintain a close, tender and loving relationship. With blue eyes and the right words, Tom is confronted with the reality of the adult world when a mysterious and perhaps threatening man enters their lives.
In its first part, empty have something to worry about. To the picture first, with a setting that casts lines towards social drama and thriller. In their mobile home, life unfolds slowly, quietly and calmly but without too much hassle. But the young mother’s outings – Tom is thirteen years old and she’s only double – pose a kind of threat. We understand that her youth was stolen from her by a maternity leave that came too soon and that the balance of the situation is fragile. And then a man arrives who shows up like a marauder from a forest and takes attire as seductive as disturbing. empty could it therefore be another intimate and social drama, made of the darkness that French film generally likes to indulge in? Not at all.
An enchanting tale
empty is an enchanting film, one of those films that can be said to surprise and do good because, as a story, it disproves the idea that “good has no history”, historical and almost unshakable principle of fiction. Peace and happiness are not told, but generally come to the conclusion of a drama. genius film emptythis makes the bet that drama is not necessarily necessarythat violence can be put at a distance and that through a naive and honest relationship with the world we will each achieve our goals.
The man who first appears violently in Joss and Tom’s world is Samy, who we experience is out of jail, knows Joss and wants to see her again. Félix Maritaud, who plays Samy, plays wonderfully with his intensity to the first scare and then softenclumsy but sincere in his efforts to reunite with Joss.
The crew is amazing and its authenticity is compelling. One would actually think to participate non-games, as much with Tanguy Mercier as with Nadia Tereszkiewicz, who are entirely their characters. So all the friction off emptyhis shocks and his few worries, follow their gestures and their words, and if they are appeased, then the story of empty will be.
The delicacy of hope captured by Fabienne Berthaud
Tom lives fluently between the mobile home, the forest and the large home of Madeleine (Claudine Acs), an elderly woman living alone. One day, when he comes as usual to pick up some vegetables in his garden, he finds her unconscious. It is natural that he will take care of his dogs in his absence, get her out of the hospital and finally bring a comforting presence to all the adults around him. Madeleine embodies the death theme in emptyin Fabienne Berthaud’s beautiful gesture to put this deep wave of life and love on display, which here is not unlike death, but is part of it in a harmonious natural cycle.
Thus, the film’s magnificent last shot emphasizes it: It will be OK. From his childhood height, empty is a carnal ode to the enchanting and optimistic power of childhood. The film tells us that we must believe in these looks and these gestures, whose purity and naivety are the strength of the hope that adults all too often give up.
empty by Fabienne Berthaud, in the cinemas on May 11, 2022. Over the trailer. Find all our trailers here.