French Film Review: Acide

 
French Film Review: Acide

In the middle of a heatwave, strange clouds start pouring down acid rain, wreaking devastation and panic throughout France. In a world teetering on the brink of collapse, 15-year-old Selma and her divorced parents, Michal and Élise, must join forces to confront and try to escape this climate catastrophe.

The film is structured around an interlocking trio of dilemmas which goes to the core of this fractured family: the father, Michal (Guillaume Canet) is torn between his daughter and his new partner; the mother, Elise (Laetitia Dosch) between her brother and her husband; and teenager Selma (Patience Munchenbach) between her father and her mother.

Originally a short film made in 2018, director Just Philippot was inspired to revisit Acide as a full-length production following the success of 2020’s horror film, La Nuée (The Swarm), which was his first feature-length endeavour. “This film is a mirror, not a Hollywood dystopia,” says Philippot “I couldn’t film this ecological crisis without linking it to the social crises we are going through today. The violence of the gilets jaunes movement shocked me. We have not finished with this social violence, nor the police violence which comes in response to the dismay of a society which no longer knows where it is going.”

Little surprise then that Acide has plenty of dark, doom-laced moments. But through its trio of lead characters and the compelling performances of the actors, it is also a recognition, if not quite a celebration, of the fortitude and determination of the human race to survive. To save the world, it seems, we ourselves must step up and become the action heroes.

Director: Just Philippot

Starring: Guillaume Canet, Laetitia Dosch, Patience Munchenbach

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