COMEDY; 1hr 17min (French with subtitles)
STARRING: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel
Full mental jacket: Dujardin
If surfaces could do the trick, then Georges (The Artist’s Dujardin) would have his life sewn up. He’s Monsieur Unmoved on the face of things, but there’s a strong sense that something is deeply amiss when he attempts to flush his jacket down a toilet while driving solo to a strange new start.
After splashing out a staggering 7,000-plus euros — every euro he possesses, if he only knew it — on a vintage, fringed deerskin jacket, Georges is convinced he’s an instant style icon, even though the groovy retro piece sits oddly with his otherwise conservative look. Elated, he checks into a dreary alpine hotel, where, under writer-director Quentin Dupieux’s skewed auspices, he quietly proceeds to lose his mind.
In no time at all, this being a slimline piece of work, Georges has tossed his phone in the trash after his ex-wife informs him he’s a non-person; hired the local barmaid (Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Haenel) as the editor of his technically non-existent film; stolen a deerskin hat from a corpse, deerskin being his fatal attraction; and struck up a dialogue with his new jacket, in which he does both voices, this being a sort-of comedy:
JACKET: You did a nice tracking shot, Georges.
GEORGES: Don’t say what you’re about to.
Please don’t! What the jacket was about to say was that both it and Georges are no closer to their goal of eliminating all rival jackets. And eliminate is the operative word in Dupieux’s marriage of the bizarre and the barking mad, its outward calm zapped with cautionary musical chords to keep you on your viewing toes. Leaning into the lunacy, Dujardin is consistently unruffled, whether downing whisky or whacking innocent strangers with the blade of a ceiling fan. Leave it to the ever-nonchalant French to turn a deluded fashion victim into a backwoods Patrick Bateman.