×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hypnotized and Hysterical, (Hairstylist Wanted)

Three unusual young women at crucial junctures in their lives are thrown together in "Hypnotized and Hysterical (Hairdresser Wanted)." A completely off-kilter confection with witty musical numbers, pic marks the memorable feature-length debut of Claude Duty. This is a fresh, impossible-to-catalog romp with a style and humor all its own.

With:
Marianne - Amira Casar Natacha - Marina Fois Elodie - Olivia Bonamy Arnaud - Charles Berling Philippe - Sergi Lopez

Three unusual young women at crucial junctures in their lives are thrown together in “Hypnotized and Hysterical (Hairdresser Wanted).” A completely off-kilter confection with witty musical numbers, pic marks the memorable feature-length debut of Claude Duty, who has been an award-winning staple of the short film circuit since the mid-1970s. Peppered with comic visuals and propelled by wonderful perfs from its central trio, this is a fresh, funny, impossible-to-catalog romp with a style and humor all its own. Distribs should definitely take a look and fests have the makings of a swell sidebar in this and a sampling of Duty’s sometimes silly, sometimes serious, shorts.

Opening credits, in which the peas in a serving platter of paella take on animated personalities, are an apt start into to this stylized blend of melodrama and black humor whose inventive twists and turns surprise and amuse.

Angry working-class single mom Elodie (Olivia Bonamy) is fired from her umpteenth minimum-wage job and needs to prove to the authorities that she’s fit to raise her daughter.

Congenitally optimistic hairdresser and alcoholic Natacha (Marina Fois) falls to pieces when her beloved cat goes missing.

Marianne (Amira Casar) is in sexual thrall to bad boy art dealer Arnaud (Charles Berling), but she’s had it with his polymorphous perversity — at a trendy party he’s seen in the background chatting up another girl, then embracing another man and finally ducking into another room presumably to get it on with a canine.

Duty delights in placing the occasional comical incident off in the distance, much like the additional gags drawn in the margins of Mad magazine. He’s also skilled at delivering attenuated punch lines long after the setup is in place.

Circumstances send the three gals on interwoven personal odysseys in which an animated tale told by mellow ethnologist Philippe (Sergi Lopez) provides punctuation. Song lyrics, delivered deadpan — which only enhances their sublime silliness — are full of wordplay and sardonic observations. (“When you’re sad, just think of the Kurds and Chechens — or Chernobyl where people wear three-legged jeans”).

Peppy production design is modest but effective and low-key dance numbers — including a snippet of synchronized swimming — play to the strengths of three femmes, all of whom perform their own vocals.

Hypnotized and Hysterical, (Hairstylist Wanted)

Critics Week / France

Production: A Mars Distribution release (in France) of a Move Movie presentation of a Move Movie, France 2 Cinema production. Produced by Bruno Levy. Directed by Claude Duty. Screenplay, Jean-Philippe Barrau, Pascale Faure, Claude Duty.

Crew: Camera (color), Bruno Romiguiere; editor, Agnes Mouchel; music, Valmont; lyrics, Pierre-Dominique Burgaud; production designer, Jean-Pierre Clech; set decorator, Jean Moulin; costume designer, Anne Schotte; sound (Dolby), Cyril Moisson, Bruno Tarriere; choreographer, Chloe Ban; assistant director, Euric Allaire; casting, Jeanne Millet. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Critics Week), May 17, 2002. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Marianne - Amira Casar Natacha - Marina Fois Elodie - Olivia Bonamy Arnaud - Charles Berling Philippe - Sergi LopezWith: Lea Drucker, Esse Lawson, Margot Abascal, Evelyne Buyle, Sylvie Lachat, Francia Seguy.

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content