Everybody loves Jeanne **
by Celine Devaux
Franco-Portuguese film, 1 h 35
Jeanne Mayer dreamed of being the heroine of our time. Rightly so, since this director of an environmental research institute has designed autonomous structures to clean the seas of plastic pollution. The media coverage that surrounded the Nausicaa project turned into a fantastic bellows when it failed. Already endowed with a shaky ego, Jeanne must face her creditors since she has committed herself in a personal capacity to the financial arrangement.
To escape bankruptcy, he must urgently find a source of money. Simon, her brother, suggests selling the apartment in Lisbon, inherited on the death of their mother. Reluctant but cornered, Jeanne goes to the Portuguese capital, where she has not been since the funeral, in order to empty and sell this accommodation. An immersion in her past which she would have done well without.
A split character
“Everyone loves Jeanne”, that’s what was said at the French high school in Lisbon, assures Jean, an intrusive former comrade she meets as soon as she arrives at the airport. One thing is certain: she hates herself. And this bittersweet comedy is carried by the interpretation to the endorsement of Blanche Gardin, customary of these split characters. An animated filmmaker who won awards at Cannes and Venice for her short films, Céline Devaux makes pertinent and expressive use of them at the heart of this live-action film: in brief sketches, Jeanne’s double expresses her thoughts and torments in a hilarious back and forth between what the young woman displays and her interiority.
If the juxtaposition between his efforts to calm himself and his moods, revealed by the voiceover and the short animated scenes, turns to the process, the film picks up its pace when Simon arrives in Lisbon. The scenario goes much further than the anxieties of a thirty-year-old woman on the edge of the abyss. He explores the social transformations imposed by the explosion of tourism in Lisbon and listens, casually, to Jean’s transgressive discourse on society (Laurent Lafitte, quietly crazy). It also depicts siblings of an overwhelming complicity (with Maxence Tual in the role of Simon) and the devastating bond with a toxic mother, interpreted, without a word but with a superb ghostly presence, by Marthe Keller.