CRITICISM / FILM OPINION – With “En corps”, Cédric Klapisch is interested in the rebirth of a dancer embodied by Marion Barbeau. A dramatic comedy through which the filmmaker does what he does best: film a group, here made up of endearing characters.
A clumsy start for In body
The first part of the new film by Cédric Klapisch leaves doubt. After catching her boyfriend kissing another backstage at their show, Élise (Marion Barbeau) is bewildered. On stage, the ballerina injured her ankle.
As for viticulture with What binds us, the filmmaker’s desire to devote himself fully to dance and to take a passionate look at the discipline is felt immediately, during a long opening which reveals the perfect coordination and organization necessary during a performance.
The treatment of the characters leaves the viewer much more skeptical. While the heroine is going through a difficult situation, which could force her to give up her vocation, the comic appearances of certain supporting roles quickly diminish her emotional impact. This is for example the case of Yann, a physiotherapist embodied by François Civil who hovers and whose crisis of tears in full consultation borders on the ridiculous.
In these first scenes, the director fails to find the balance between lightness and seriousness. The sequences are linked awkwardly and the dialogues sometimes ring false. However, the dilemma facing Élise is interesting: should one listen to prudent recommendations to preserve oneself and thus turn one’s back on one’s art, or abandon oneself to it completely by relying on the power of the will?
A liberating journey
In body manages to rid herself of her childish candor and her clumsy precepts of personal development, again largely conveyed by the problematic character of Yann, as soon as Élise hits the road. To recover from her injury, the heroine decides to go green by following Sabrina (Souheila Yacoub) and Loïc (Pio Marmaï). This dancer having been forced to stop her career and this itinerant cook settle temporarily in the residence of Josiane (Muriel Robin), in Brittany. In her large property, this woman regularly receives troops who come to practice, offering them a field of expression to nourish artistic ambitions that she regrets never having had.
Much more spontaneous and nuanced, these three characters deserve their own feature film as they are endearing. They are the ones who allow the development of the heroine, and it is their three interpreters who allow Marion Barbeau to find the right tone. Cédric Klapisch frees himself from the painful Parisian torments of the beginning of the film. He stages dialogues where humor and sensitivity seem much more natural. At the same time, he looks at the fascinating work of Hofesh Shechter’s troupe, who have come to rehearse in the house. And when Yann arrives in this landscape, he finally relaxes and in turn becomes sympathetic, caught up in the global energy.
Let’s stay together
Beyond Élise’s classic sentimental stories and predictable answers to her questions, it’s group harmony that the viewer retains the mostIn body. Other narrative arcs are nevertheless interesting, as the reunion between the dancer and her father Henri (Denis Podalydès), distant and almost apathetic since the death of his companion. But nothing beats collective meetings and their moments of conviviality.
Moments that dot the entire cinema of Cédric Klapisch, The Young Peril at What binds us Passing by The Spanish inn, which is never more catchy than when it puts aside the self-centered temperament of its protagonists. What the director proves again with In body, thanks to dance but not only.
In body by Cédric Klapisch, in theaters on March 30, 2022. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.