Review | Les Pires: or the story of the best

Romane Gueret and Lise Akoka, child coaches, achieve through The worst their first feature film. This is felt intensely in this work. Who else but a specialist in child behavioral attitudes could make such a film? While the director had already made a short film on the 7th art, it is this time on the set and no longer on the cast that the film focuses.

The worst is the story of teenagers in personal and academic difficulties living in Boulogne-sur-Mer and cast to play in a film. A mise en abyme therefore, so well done that it is easy to think that it is a documentary about the shooting of a film. The actors were spotted during a random casting: some come from homes, others met after school. The film owes all its sensitivity and honesty to this specificity. If the choice of actors is so developed here, it is because the film owes them its success. The story doesn’t matter, the characters are everything. The contrast is striking between the actor playing the role of the director, of impressive stature, and the fragility of the children chosen to play in a film when the door to the acting profession was socially closed to them. The characters are disturbing, on the verge of uneasiness, no longer brushing against reality, but atomizing it. Ryan’s expression is indefinable: frozen, tortured, frightened at the same time, one cannot imagine a face more real than his. It is all the prowess of the actors to have succeeded in playing their own person. La mise en abyme shows this with scenes like the one in which the director creates tension between two boys to film the anger and hatred on their faces. This gives the film a harshness, the viewer constantly questioning whether the acting is so successful because the young people trained hard at it, or because they were inspired by their own feelings of life. The prowess is on the side of the wild actors as well as the directors. The mise en abyme makes it possible once again to realize the difficulty of shooting such a film. A director can indeed exhaust himself with the task of bringing these faces and bodies to life, to make them express the emotions that are those of their daily lives, while channeling them to prevent limits from being exceeded.

It is all the prowess of the actors to have succeeded in playing their own role.

The worst is a prowess and a tribute. A tribute to young people in difficulty who, despite all the acting talent they may have, do not have the option of returning to this environment if they are not picked up. A tribute to the directors who take the trouble to make this grueling effort to seek out these young people and bring out the best in them… as well as the worst. The worst is a tribute to creation, combat and devolution. Faced with their deepest fears, faced with their heaviest past, young people devote themselves to their role as actors. We can only congratulate Romane Gueret and Lise Akoka, who, if they went to cast the worst, it is because they were able to see that beyond appearances, they could be the best.

RÉALISATEUR :  Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret
NATIONALITÉ : française
AVEC : Mallory Wanecques, Timéo Mahaut, Johan Heldenbergh
GENRE : Comédie dramatique
DURÉE : 1h36
DISTRIBUTEUR : Pyramide Production
SORTIE LE 7 décembre 2022 

Review | Les Pires: or the story of the best