In Leoner Serrail’s ‘Mother and Son’ competition – deadline

When his mother spoke, Ernest remembered, everything seemed important. “I’m holding on to his light,” he told us in a voiceover, an adult wondering what it was like. The Ernest he remembers is just a little boy (Milan Ducansi), tossed against Rose (Annabelle Langron, an amazingly lively presence), sitting opposite his grave and on the train carrying their clever older brother Jean (CD Fofana) from C ডিte d’Ivoire. . Ivory in a new French life.

Mother and son It’s a life story – less a story, perhaps, than a tapestry of carefully embroidered details – focusing on each of the three characters for more than 25 years. Writer and director, Leonor Seraille, a young white woman educated in the Sorban; After winning the Camera D’Or, he returned to the competition The young woman In 2017. Still, the film manages to entertain as well as inform. Everything here seems to be clearly important to Cerel as well.

We move through time in a lurching movement, each of the three characters taking turns to move to the center stage. When the kids are younger, Rose is the star: a brave young woman whose parenting style is sporty, push-pull and somewhat non-stop. He and his sons live in a single room in a flat with his sister, brother-in-law and their children; Her brother-in-law said the family was important. Sister Eugenie (Audrey Caucau) hires him as a cleaner at a hotel where she works and gives him a party to welcome her, hoping to find a suitable person sooner than later.

Rose, however, does not lean towards suitable men. She had sex on the roof with a hotel guest. He stays out all night drinking. He misses work days, lies on the sofa, is covered by his sister and takes care of all the kids while he is playing outside. “The French take themselves so seriously!” Rose is groaning through the hangover. Those family ties are breaking fast.

We move on to Jean, (now played by Stephen Buck) a math whistleblower who has won a scholarship to a top senior school for notoriously difficult graduation and went out with the smartest girl in his class. Some turning in her, however; Her life begins to crumble when Ernest (Kenzo Sambin) stares helplessly. Eventually we return to Ernest as an adult (Ahmed Silla), quietly angry at his mother. He did well – he was a college teacher – but the inadequacies of his childhood now seem unforgivable to him.

All of this leads back to Rouen from Paris and back again, where Rose works and is chilled with a stand-alone set piece with a weird swingers party at a hunting lodge for the hotel staff. Men’s inheritance goes through everyday life; Her marriage to the flamboyant Jules Caesar (Jean-Christophe Tolly) is another set piece, a part of immigrant life. The plot that goes on year after year is not so cluttered around, although the precise sequence of events is not always clearly indicated. Where you have a bit of wonder, a confusing ambiguity.

At certain moments, however, research speaks a little too crisply. An ugly episode of police harassment, when adult Ernest goes to buy a coffee and the police bail him out and detain him, it feels like a news story stuck in the narrative. When Rose scolds the adult Ernest for choosing the path of whites – especially “the imaginary disease… depression, it’s not for us!” – We are forced to notice cultural differences across generations, a common occurrence in upward-moving families. A little more often, Mother and son Read that way as a dossier of immigrant experience. That experience has been pretty well observed and exploited to a large extent but, like Rose as a flatmate, it’s a little more in a small space.

Not that the ugliness of everyday life should be avoided or overlooked: Cereal and Langrone are full marks for making his mark. It is worth noting that the French title Mother and son Is Younger brother. It’s Ernest’s younger brother’s bond with Jean – the illuminator of the family’s brilliance and his own playground keeper, abusive homework supervisor and groom’s companion – that is the visual theme of the film. Jean was his great love; He blames his mother for his loss. Nevertheless, the English title is a good fit. Because that’s really the story of Rose: the little tragedy of an unknown woman who left the country she knew for her sons, just to lose the two of them.

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