Cannes Film Festival 2022: “Masquerade”, where the scam under the sun signed Nicolas Bedos

“Masquerade”, a new film by Nicolas Bedos presented this May 27 in the official selection at Cannes, out of competition, offers a comedy of manners where everyone tries to rip off the other, with a superb cast to boot. It will hit screens next November.

“Masquerade” is a bit like Sacha Guitry breaking into “Coup de Torchon” by Bertand Tavernier. A venal thriller in the form of a dramatic comedy, sprinkled with caustic dialogues (“Better to pass for a traitor than for an idiot”!) And masterfully led by a Nicolas Bedos very inspired, both in the script and in the staging. In short, “All that glitters”, under the sun of the Riviera.

Adrien and Margot seduce each other during a party given in the sumptuous Riviera villa of Martha (Isabelle Adjani), an illustrious actress who is a little on the decline. He is the gigolo of the lonely star – under the guise of a writer in the making – and the young woman he met, a poisonous diamond digger, mythomaniac and manipulator like you often come across where money flows freely. The two thirty-year-olds will then quickly get along and imagine together a formidable stratagem of “scamming the rich” by using and abusing their power of seduction as well as their total lack of scruples. But in the end, will they necessarily be the most gifted at this fool’s game?

Rhythmic, elegant, efficient

Marine Vacth (seen at Rappeneau and Ozon) is mind-blowingly fiery, present and sensual; definitely his best role to date. Pierre Niney is very convincing as a crook not so far off as that of “An ideal man”. Finally, Isabelle Adjani, beautiful and feline, capricious and deliciously unbearable, plays with humour, distance and self-mockery with the clichés that are projected onto her – and with a gluttony that is a pleasure to see. Nicolas Bedos, at the beginning of the film, even sends her back to the bottom of the swimming pool, as in the song “Pull Marine”.

Cruel and joyfully iconolistic, amoral and visually superb, this comedy of manners, which spares none of its protagonists (Emmanuelle Devos and François Cluzet are also impeccable there) is filmed a bit like the trailer for an upcoming film: with rhythm, elegance and efficiency. Admittedly, by deliberately blurring the tracks, the filmmaker takes the risk of a sometimes confused and opaque narration; no matter, the spectacle of this human comedy is sufficiently tasty to draw from it an accomplice, assumed, almost guilty pleasure.

The film will be released in theaters on November 1, 2022.

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