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Maman and I

Maman and I

Frankreich/Belgien 2013 - with Guillaume Gallienne, André Marcon, Françoise Fabian, Nanou Garcia ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Les carcons et Guillaume, á table
Genre:Comedy, Drama, Tragicomedy
Direction:Guillaume Gallienne
Cinema release:05.06.2014
Production country:Frankreich/Belgien 2013
Running time:Approx. 87 min.
Rated:Age 12+
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Guillaume (Guillaume Gallienne) has always been different from his two older brothers. He has never been interested in sports, but rather finds pleasure in singing or dancing. Typical boy things are just not his thing. He is very fixated on his mother (also Guillaume Gallienne) and always wants to please her. Since Maman wanted a girl so badly after two boys, Guillaume is only too happy to let her push him into the role of the daughter she never had. But there comes a point when he has to ask himself who he really is and who he wants to love. But the search for his personal and sexual identity is a long, bumpy road that holds a few surprises for Guillaume.

With Maman and Me, Guillaume Gallienne delivers his directorial debut, based on his acclaimed autobiographical play. Like life itself, the film swings back and forth somewhere between comedy and tragedy. It's a very intimate story about an intense mother-son relationship, a whimsically colored process of detachment that culminates in an unusual coming out. A one-man show in the theater, Gallienne enlists support in the screen adaptation from a host of supporting actors including André Marcon, Diane Kruger, Götz Otto and Françoise Fabian. Still, the film belongs entirely to his wonderful double role as Maman and I.

There are some quite wonderful moments and really good laughs. For example, when Guillaume learns to dance perfectly in Spain - only like a girl - or when he plays Sissi in front of the mirror. But as exaggeratedly funny as some moments like the stay in a Bavarian sanatorium may be, there is always a depressing heaviness hovering over the story. For even though Guillaume faces most situations with a smile on his face and an almost indestructible optimism, as a viewer you feel a certain despair in the face of the many setbacks and also rejections he has to experience during the process of his sexual self-discovery.

Maman and I is a very unusual film. On the one hand it is a classic coming-of-age story, but on the other hand it is so surreal and maladjusted that it is rarely seen in cinema anymore. Gallienne blithely switches back and forth between a rather theatrical and a purely cinematic staging, thus preventing the film from being pigeonholed on a purely stylistic level. Everything about its mise-en-scène seems as fractured as the soul life of its main character. To be sure, this makes the film extremely difficult to access for a mainstream audience. At the same time, this is precisely what makes Maman and Me one of the most interesting and surprising cinematic experiences of the year.

In France, Guillaume Gallienne landed a huge critical and audience success not only with the stage version, but also with the cinema adaptation. This will certainly not be repeated to the same extent in Germany. But it is to be hoped that the film will at least find and inspire numerous viewers in art house cinemas. Films like Maman and I, which are so true to life, touching and amusing and at the same time elude all stylistic and dramaturgical predictability, have become a rarity that one simply has to appreciate - at least when they are so successful. So if you appreciate refined, charming and humorous auteur cinema from France and simply want to be entertained off the beaten track, you should definitely not miss this work. Absolutely worth seeing

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Maman and I (Frankreich/Belgien 2013)"
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