En attendant Bojangles (2021)
Directed by: Regis Roinsard | 124 minutes | drama | Actors: Romain Duris, Virginie Efira, Grégory Gadebois, Solan Machado Graner, Milo Machado Graner, Christine Bonnard, Manesca De Ternay, Marie Fontannaz, Christian Ameri, Johann Dionnet, Jean-Pierre Durand, Rodrigue Faucin
In addition to infidelity and financial problems, rut is one of the biggest relationship killers there is. With Georges (Romain Duris) and Camille (Virginie Efira), protagonists in ‘En attendant Bojangles’ (2021), we don’t have to worry about that. Ever since their first meeting, at a party for the French jet set in the late 1950s, the two have been cracking. Georges easily wraps Camille around his fingers. His lies, which earned him admiration from the other partygoers earlier this evening, are happily spooned up by the attractive, sensually dancing woman. With an amusing look, she takes his story that he is a descendant of Dracula, and a lover of Josephine Baker, for sweet cake. She plays the game full of fun.
That same evening Georges and Camille get married in a romantic and deserted church. It doesn’t matter that there is no priest to bless the marriage, it’s about the idea. But the next morning Georges wakes up alone. When he manages to find the woman, whose first name he only knows, with great difficulty, Camille turns out to have a serious form of fear of commitment. But Georges knows exactly what to say to make her bond with him forever.
‘En attendant Bojangles’ is the film adaptation of Olivier Bourdeaut’s novel of the same name from 2016. After the romantic meeting of the two lovers and the birth of Gary, the son of the two, nine months later, the film jumps a few years further. . The love has only intensified. You cannot accuse Georges and Camille of responsibility or maturity. In fact, ten-year-old Gary seems to be the most mature of the family. But Gary doesn’t have it easy either. At school, he likes to talk about how crazy things are at his home, but no one believes they have a native African bird as a pet. The pile of unopened mail grows by the day, so bills are not paid, but throwing parties can be the best of his parents. Georges and Camille dance through life and their fantasy knows no bounds. But of course there is also a downside. Camille turns out to have a personality disorder that will eventually affect the family.
This third feature film by Régis Roinsard (“Populaire” (2012), “Les traducteurs” (2019)) is not only based on the excellent acting performances of the cast. Both Efira and Duris have more than earned their spurs in the film world, and Grégory Gadebois – as a friend of the family – has already built up an impressive body of work. The biggest surprise is the young and debuting Solan Machado Graner, who has a very mature appearance as Gary. You can tell from the kid that he understands his role: that he knows that his parents are different from ‘normal’ parents, and what that could mean for his future. Yet you also see him very touchingly enjoying the crazy interactions and that is very moving.
‘En attendant Bojangles’ is an imaginative film, a pleasant pastime to escape from reality. The romance jumps off the screen and the film is packed with funny details. The fact that there is a dramatic undertone to the story means that this French production gives you – not unexpectedly – a big punch in the stomach. You will not soon forget Georges, Camille and Gary.