Let's Dance! (Faut que ca danse)



PARIS -- "Let's Dance!" ("Faut que ca danse") is a sort of family portrait focusing on a father-and-daughter relationship, marked by breaches in the rhythm, a conscious tone of light madness and amazing performances by great French actors who constantly seem to be improvising -- but definitely are not.

This typical French auteur film should interest worldwide distributors thanks to the richness of its cast.

Sarah (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) unexpectedly finds she is pregnant although she believed she was barren. Her father, Salomon, (Jean-Pierre Marielle), who has just turned 80, decides that he must now think of no one but himself, before his life comes to its end. Their relation is enrichedby two secondary stories which reveal hidden aspects of the main one: One is that of Genevieve (Bulle Ogier), Sarah's mother, in an early stage of Alzheimer's disease, looked after by Mr. Mootoosamy (Bakary Sangare); and a second is that of Salomon's sudden love for Violette (Sabine Azema), whom he has met through classified ads.

Noemie Lvovsky (who is also an unpredictable actress and the co-writer of Bruni-Tedeschi's films) chose to give a deliberately bizarre aspect to the editing, balancing the relatively traditional narration. Ellipses and sudden swings abound, contributing, together with the sense of liberty given off by the actors, to making the film really enjoyable to watch, although most of the themes it touches (terminal disease, loneliness, attempted suicide) imply a melancholy treatment.

The central question of the Jewish identity and the Holocaust serves as a pretext, for instance, for hilarious sequences, including a fantasy flashback in which Hitler is murdered in an early stage of his ascent to power.

One of the most brilliant passages finds Salomon in the office of an insurance company employee, to whom Salomon protests that it's a scandal the company won't insure him because of his age. Progressively, he overpowers the stunted insurance man, who can do nothing but state the company rules.

Marielle is simply great in this scene, as he is in the entire movie, reminding the audience and his fellow professionals that he is still an unbelievable performer at 75. This he confirms a few minutes on by executing Fred Astaire choreography.

The other actors' pleasure in acting with Marielle is obvious. Ogier, Azema (stylish as always) and Bruni-Tedeschi create fantasy-like characters, adding to the film's offbeat charm. The naturalness with which they confront exaggerated situations make them appear quite credible.

Even though he is not a beginner, Bakary Sangare is a true revelation. This Malian actor, who played the main role in Ouedraogo's "Samba Traore" , is a regular on French stages and a member of the Comedie Francaise. To have put him in this beautiful part on the screen is no small aspect of Lvovsky's talent.

Why Not Prods.
Director: Noemie Lvovsky
Writers: Noemie Lvovsky, Florence Seyvos
Producers: Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Joilute, Ruth Waldburger
Director of photography: Jean-Marc Fabre
Production designer: Marie Cheminal
Costume designer: Dorothee Guiraud
Editor: Emmanuelle Castro
Music: Archie Shepp
Salomon: Jean-Pierre Marielle
Sarah: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
Violette: Sabine Azema
Genevieve: Bulle Ogier
Mr. Mootoosamy: Bakary Sangare
Francois: Arie Elmaleh
Adolph Hitler: John Arnold
Running time -- 100 minutes
No MPAA rating