The real family: a subtle portrait of a host family [critique]

The new film from the director of Diane has the shoulders. A success driven by a remarkable trio: Mélanie Thierry-Lyes Salem-Félix Moati. To see this evening on M6.

Since its first screening at Angoulême 2021, where it left crowned with the Jury Prize and Best Actress, The Real Family overwhelmed with awards throughout the festivals to which he has been invited. And that’s only fair.

Released in February 2022 in cinemas, this French film won over the editorial staff of First. Here is our review, reshared on the occasion of its first unencrypted broadcast, this Monday evening on M6.

We discovered its director Fabien Gorgeart in 2017 with Diane has the shoulders where Clotilde Hesme played a young woman who carried the child of a couple of friends. Family is his favorite theme. But he raises the level with his second feature where this time he features a host family who, after six years spent among them, will see the little boy they welcomed at 18 months go back to live with his father biological. With the inevitable heartbreak that this implies.

Gorgeart here avoids all the traps placed on his path. That of a film which would be limited to its single subject where the societal would take precedence over cinema to the point of suffocating it. That of a subject so personal (his family was also a host family) that it would have been difficult to tend towards a more universal subject. That of a Manichean story dividing its character into good and bad guys. The Real Family is precisely the opposite: a little gem of writing both in the way its plot advances and in the psychology of its characters. Human, terribly human, with all this implying mixed generosity and selfishness. Gorgeart doesn't explain anything and we understand everything. He does not justify any position that one might find violent because he lets the characters follow their logic to the end. And its casting superbly embraces this art of subtlety.

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