“Ténor”, by Claude Zidi Jr, with Michèle Laroque and MB14, “The Duke”, by Roger Michell, based on a true story, the exotic “L’école du bout du monde”, by Pawo Choyning Dorji…Here are 5 films that will be released in cinemas in May, and not to be missed.
The most musical: “Tenor”, by Claude Zidi Jr
First solo film by Claude Zidi Jr, “Ténor” stars Michel Laroque and the famous beat-boxer MB14, whose real name is Mohamed Belkhir, who is taking his first steps on the big screen. The director signs a sincere and touching feature film, where two opposite musical worlds intertwine: that of rap and lyrical singing. In “Ténor”, the 27-year-old artist with a powerful voice, finalist of The Voice, slips with talent into the skin of Antoine, a Parisian suburbanite.
While juggling between his studies, rap battles and his work as a delivery man, the young man will discover a passion for lyrical singing, a world far removed from his own. During a race at the Opéra Garnier, his path will cross that of Mrs. Loyseau (Michèle Laroque), who will show him his way and his voice. And we take full eyes and ears. MB14 delivers a brilliant performance and bristles our hairs with its vocal power, from “Ti voglio bene assai” by Lucio Dalla, to “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi.
“The spiritual and sacred side of classical music touches a part of my soul”, confided to us the singer who now has two dreams: to go back in front of the camera and “to continue to develop (his) technique for one day performing on stage and release an opera album, like Pavarotti in his day”. This film on transmission also talks about the difficulty and the fear of leaving one’s environment, and ignoring prejudices. In addition, one of the greatest opera singers in France, Roberto Alagna, is invited to the casting.
“Tenor” (1h40), Claude Zidi Jr. in theaters May 4.
THE MOST INSPIRING: “THE SCHOOL AT THE END OF THE WORLD”, BY PAWO CHOYNING DORJI
What does it mean to be happy? Nominated for the 2022 Oscars, the Bhutanese film “School at the end of the world”, by Pawo Choyning Dorji takes us on a journey to the heart of Bhutan, the country of Gross National Happiness (BNB), alongside a young teacher, Ugyen. While he wants to resign to go to Australia and pursue a career as a singer, he is forced to choose another destination. The State asks him to go and teach in a village of Luana populated by 56 inhabitants and where the most isolated school on the planet is located.
Over there, along the glaciers of the Himalayas, an eight-day walk from the city, nothing recalls the modern world. There is no electricity and no networks, to the chagrin of the protagonist, who spends his days with headphones screwed to his ears. But he will adapt, learn to warm himself with dried yaks dung, and understand that happiness is not a destination. Facing the snow-capped peaks, between which traditional songs resonate, his pupils, who do not know what a car is, point out to him that a teacher is sacred because he “meets the future”, while the spiritual strength of the villagers goes transform his destiny.
This exotic and striking feature film explores universal subjects, such as the importance of transmission, the quest for happiness and the feeling of belonging, while inviting Western audiences, for two hours, to reconnect with the earth, to nature, and to listen to the valuable advice given by the elders. It is also an opportunity to discover an unknown region and its traditions and to take in the view because this territory is a real green setting with breathtaking landscapes.
“The School of the Purpose of the World” (1h50)Pawo Choyning Dorji, in theaters May 11.
THE MOST BRITISH: “THE DUKE”, BY ROGER MICHELL
Directed by Roger Michell, the film “The Duke” tells a funny and surprising true story that took place in the early 1960s. Why should we pay a TV license fee when we don’t receive the BBC? While Kempton Bunton, a sixty-year-old taxi driver, campaigns to exempt veterans and the elderly from this tax, the pensioner learns that the British government has spent 140,000 pounds to buy the portrait of the Duke of Wellington painted by Francisco de Goya.
He then decides to go to London to make his voice heard, in vain. Determined to change the world, this harmless activist, married to a much more pragmatic woman, finally returns to her Newcastle home with the painting, stolen a little earlier from the National Gallery, thus committing the first and only theft in history. of the museum. And he will only return the painting on one condition: that we grant his request. During his trial, Kempton Bunton will finally have the platform he dreamed of, in his quarter of an hour of glory, and will deliver an incredible speech. He will ridicule the prosecutor and win the favor of the room, fascinated, thanks to his eloquence, his sense of humor, and his sincerity.
Served by tasty dialogues and an excellent duo of actors, Jim Broadbent, who perfectly embodies both optimism and distress, and Helen Mirren, this comedy, which resonates with current events, is quite simply good. We leave all smiles and full of enthusiasm. This film reminds us that by acting, we have the power to change the course of things. Even if, for the anecdote, the audiovisual license fee was finally abolished only in 2000, and only for the British over 75 years old.
“The Duke” (1h36), Roger Michell, at the cinema on May 11.
The most family-friendly: “We smile in the photo”, by François Uzan
Jacques Gamblin tries to rekindle the flame of his couple in “We smile for the photo”, first film by François Uzan, who left with the special jury prize at the Alpe d’Huez Festival 2022 and participated in the script writing for “Lupin” and “I promise you”. The 64-year-old actor slips into the skin of Thierry, father of two children, who spends his days looking back, classifying his family photos.
But when his wife (Pascale Arbillot) announces to him that she is leaving him, Thierry, in despair, offers to redo “Greece 98”, their best vacation, to spend a last week all four of them, but above all to win back the heart of his wife, to the rhythm of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. Carried by endearing characters, this sunny, fun and tender film depicts the parent/child relationship and the marital bond, facing the test of time.
For the director, “We smile in the photo” is a film “about the ghosts of the past. So yes, said like that, we don’t necessarily start with a comedy, but since they are nice ghosts with whom we live, who accompany us and who one day have to give up, this ultimately creates a nostalgic, even melancholy comedy. “.
“We smile for the photo” (1h35), François Uzan, at the cinema on May 11.
The most romantic: “Little lesson of love”, by Eve Deboise
After “Paradis perdu” in 2012, a first dramatic film, Eve Deboise signs “Little lesson of love”, a comedy that offers the viewer a funny, offbeat and poetic parenthesis. It all starts in a Parisian café. As she eats her sandwich while drinking a glass of champagne, Julie, dog-sitter, camped by Laetitia Dosch, who sublimates the film, comes across misplaced copies.
In the middle of these, she discovers a love letter in which a high school girl threatens her maths teacher, Mathieu (Pierre Deladonchamps), to end her life at dawn. After finding the teacher on the verge of burnout, the bubbly Julie, scratched by life, leads him on a frantic race, in the four corners of the capital, to find the teenager. But during this real nocturnal road movie, the two heroes, who are both struggling to assume their adult roles, will not only try to avoid the worst.
This zany investigation, to say the least, allows them to regain confidence in life and in love. Tinted with melancholy and romanticism, this buddy movie shows that one should never lose hope, that nothing is frozen, while evoking in the background the problems of addiction, loneliness, motherhood, but also the relationships men women. “The idea was that two people in this limit state collide, explained the scenario writer. I wanted from this fortuitous collusion something funny, and even happy. As if these two characters loved each other and orbited others, just as clueless as them”.
“Little lesson of love” (1h26)Eve Deboise, at the cinema on May 4.