This is My Body

A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, "This Is My Body" (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro territories.

With:
Antoine - Louis Garrel Louise - Jane Birkin Clara - Melanie Laurent Grandmother - Annie Girardot

A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro territories, with useful ancillary also indicated.

Antoine (Garrel) comes from an affluent background. His upbringing and education have prepared him to follow in the footsteps of his successful businessman father; he has an attractive girlfriend (who, however, he can’t always satisfy) and his life appears pre-ordained. That is until, by chance, he gets the offer of a leading role in a film.

A small company, Horizon Films (the name of the late Sam Spiegel’s production shingle), is producing a film that is to be directed by Louise (Jane Birkin), a dominating woman. The entire production is in jeopardy because Lucas, the young man originally cast in the part, has committed suicide.

While Antoine agonizes over whether to take the role, he also worries about Louise, who has the reputation of being “a bit odd” or, as one acquaintance puts it, “a monster.” What really happened with Lucas? It seems he was gay, but that he had an affair with his director before killing himself. Antoine commits to the film, but that sets off a whole round of new problems.

Elegantly photographed by Carlo Varini in long, gliding, fluid shots, “This Is My Body” is intriguing and, for a while, successful in maintaining the mood of mysteriousness in banal surroundings. The main problem is the casting of Birkin as Louise; she seems wrong for the character of the predatory seducer of young men, and young gay men at that. On the other hand, Garrel is exactly right as the troubled Antoine.

The director claims to have been inspired by Jean-Paul Sartre’s “The Childhood of a Leader,” and so it’s perhaps no surprise that the scenes involving Antoine and his appalled family (with a nice turn by veteran Annie Girardot as his possibly senile grandmother) are the best in this uneven melodrama.

This is My Body

France-Portugal

Production: A Gemini Films (Paris)-Madragoa Filmes (Lisbon) production, in association with Canal Plus, Natexas Banques Populaires Images. (International sales: Gemini Films, Paris.) Produced by Paulo Branco. Directed by Rodolphe Marconi. Screenplay, Gilles Taurand, Marconi.

Crew: Camera (color), Carlo Varini; editor, Isabelle Devinck; music, Niko Bikialo; production designer, Yves Fournier; sound, (Dolby SR), Henri Maikoff, Eric Armbruster. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors Fortnight), May 17, 2001. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: Antoine - Louis Garrel Louise - Jane Birkin Clara - Melanie Laurent Grandmother - Annie GirardotWith: Elisabeth Depardieu, Didier Flamand, Didier Bezace, Cedric Delsaux, Francois Chaix, Rebecca Marder, Lila Salet.

More Film

  • Durban FilmMart Taps Funds for African

    Durban FilmMart Taps Funds for African Filmmakers

    A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro […]

  • The Greatest Showman on Earth

    Hollywood Enjoys Rare Dominance of Japan Box Office in First Half Year

    A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro […]

  • Russell Brand and Paula Patton

    Russell Brand, Paula Patton Join ‘Four Kids and It’ Cast

    A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro […]

  • Curse of La Llorana

    Film News Roundup: Horror Movie Re-Titled 'The Curse of La Llorona' for Spring Release

    A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro […]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo Dicaprio

    Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Turned Down 'Brokeback Mountain,' Says Gus Van Sant

    A flawed but generally interesting first feature centered on an intense, brooding performance by young actor Louis Garrel, “This Is My Body” (the title comes from the text of the Mass) is both intriguing and a bit frustrating. It establishes Rodolphe Marconi as a director to watch, however, and could fare well in some Euro […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content