With “5 hectares”, director Emilie Deleuze sows the seeds of an almost successful social comedy

With “5 hectares”, director Emilie Deleuze sows the seeds of an almost successful social comedy

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Franck (Lambert Wilson), a brilliant Parisian researcher and lifelong urbanite, decides to give up everything to become a farmer. He takes Léo, his partner (Marina Hands), into the great neo-rural adventure. The couple acquired a 5-hectare plot of land, to the great dismay of the peasant neighborhood, here forever, who see these city tourists arriving who, basically, have nothing to do there. Like a kid looking for his toy, Franck seeks at all costs to acquire a tractor and gets bogged down in a kind of agricultural road movie strewn with pitfalls.

There were, in Emilie Deleuze’s new film, the seeds of a superb post-Covid social comedy, a bit Italian-style, acerbic and delirious: the bourgeois privilege of feeling at home everywhere, of settling down everywhere wherever we want and to improvise as a peasant, in defiance of the local populations.

Initial class struggle

This is the first joyful track of the film, which, unfortunately, gradually unravels, as if the director ended up taking (a little too much) sympathy for her hero, forgetting in the process the initial class struggle which would have somewhat toned up the scenario – the director prefers vaguely burlesque comedy, never really served by the direction.

Despite some rather well-felt remarks and remarks, the film leaves us frustrated: it does not sufficiently exploit the comico-political potential of its initial idea and abandons conflict for a vague reconciliation of all parties. What remains is a fairly impeccable and elegant cast: Lambert Wilson, Marina Hands (who we would like to see more of) and Laurent Poitrenaux play well, within a score that would have benefited from being much meaner.

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