“The Speech”: a funny and subtle pamphlet on thirtysomethings, the family and more.


Fabcaro’s comic book, then the novel he wrote Fabrice Caro, The speech (Gallimard), find the ideal filmmaker for a screen adaptation. This is the third comic book that Laurent Tirard adapts after Asterix: On His Majesty’s Secret Service and The little Nicolas (1 and 2). A synergy has been established between the two authors, for the best comedy of this re-entry of deconfinement, in theaters Wednesday, June 9.

For Adrien (Benjamin Lavernhe) the traditional family meal is both a pleasure and a chore. Especially since that day, he must read in front of his parents, his sister and her future husband his wedding speech. During the meal, he prepares for this ordeal and summarizes his life. Dad (François Morel), mum (Guilaine Londez), sister (Julia Piaton) and her stepfather (Kyan Khojandi) are scrutinized, but also his last mistress, Sonia (Sarah Giraudeau), everything that does, him.

We immediately enter the film, around this Sunday table, Adrien’s voiceover exposing the horror of the situation. A small side Festen (Thomas Vinterberg) bathes the film, but it is far from tragic. Laurent Tirard and Fabrice Caro, as director and author, have found the seal. Withdrawals and additions were made in the adaptation, but the screenwriter / director’s proposals echo the cartoonist and writer, it can be seen, it can be heard.

Finally a comedy with an innovative staging! Without Benjamin Lavernhe as Adrien, Laurent Tirard did not want to make the film, just like François Morel who won. The entire cast, the adaptation, and the performance go hand in hand. The meal is animated by Adrien’s interior comments, then his memories intervene, as many episodes, but not sketches, which punctuate the story. Not to mention the interruptions of the guests in the course of his thoughts. A happiness of narrative construction, even if it becomes a little systematic, a lesson in diegesis which one would dream of seeing the theatrical adaptation.

Benjamin Lavernhe, Guilaine Londez, François Morel, Julia Piaton, Kyan Khojandi and Sara Giraudeau in "The speech" by Laurent Tirard (2020).  (CUSTOM FILMS 6 - Photo CHRISTOPHE BRACHET)

The rhythm is there, the laughter bursts out, as we recognize each other in the situations. The director’s gaze on the sets, the costumes, the frames of the meal, are full of atmosphere, then Adrien’s relationship with Sonia invites it. But this is another story. Everything rings true in this funny phantasmagoria. Run to see and hear The speech. Unmissable.

Poster of "The speech" by Laurent Tirard (2020).  (THE PACT)

Kind : Comedy
Director : Laurent Tirard
Actors : Benjamin Lavernhe, Sara Giraudeau, François Morel, Guilaine Londez, Julia Piaton, Kyan Khojandi
Country : France
Duration : 1h28
Exit : June 9, 2021
Distributor : The pact

Synopsis : Adrien is stuck. Stuck at a family dinner where dad comes out with the same anecdote as usual, mom pulls on the endless leg of lamb and Sophie, her sister, listens to her future husband as if he were Einstein. So he waits. He waits for Sonia to answer his text, and put an end to the “break” she has been giving him for a month. But she doesn’t answer. And to top it all off, Ludo, his future brother-in-law, asks him to make a speech at the wedding… Oh damn, he hadn’t seen her coming, that one! Adrien’s anguish turns to panic. But what if this speech was ultimately the best thing that could happen to him?



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