“Double focus”: Lili and Simon, two inseparable people, but each has its own nest


To preserve their love from the bad effects of routine and each time renew the pleasure of reunion, they decided, by mutual agreement, to live separately. Lili (Emilie Dequenne), a real estate agent, sublets to her elderly father, Jacques (Michel Jonasz), a small apartment that he once occupied before moving to the countryside with his wife. A few streets away, Simon (Max Boublil), a mechanic, occupies the apartment above his workplace.

Their son, Abel (Arthur Roose), aged around ten, adapts to the situation, who goes from one home to another without batting an eyelid. And knows how to play it sometimes, choosing what suits him. Mom, lax on schedules, pizza and candy; dad, keen to prepare balanced meals and always ready to show him the classic cars he is entrusted to repair.

This little arrangement with conventions circulates an air of lightness which quickly gives the “la”. No ambiguity as to the nature of Double Focus . A former film critic, author of several novels and director, with Christophe Beauvais, of the short film Schrödinger’s Bookstore (2009), Claire Vassé did not aim for a sociological film, but rather chose, for her first feature film, to sing us the refrain.

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We are in Toulouse, the Pink City bathed in light, where a couple loves each other like two inseparable people (a gift that Jacques, moreover, gives to his grandson) having opted for two different nests, because “finding each other is never should not be an obligation, but a hope . They don’t care about the looks of others. And even evil tongues who claim that this family pattern necessarily hides something. Perhaps a taste for libertinage, who knows!

The least impervious to what people will say will be their son, who will begin to ask questions, then submit them more and more frequently to his parents. The latter too will be put to the test, their daily routine suddenly disrupted by the illness, then the death, of Jacques. And by the return, one fine day, after years of absence, of Julien (Pierre Rochefort), Simon’s best friend since their childhood at the DDASS.

These events will have the effect of dangerously shaking the couple’s way of life, without really upsetting the unity of tone which contributes, in large part, to preserving a rather wise production, the soundtrack and the songs composed by Guillaume Aldebert, that the actors hum throughout the film. In this climate of a romantic comedy that is a bit of a joker – in total contradiction with the subject – Double Focus only skims over each element that crosses it, struggles to create relief and establish a real issue. To the point of appearing, ultimately, very anecdotal.

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