Covid Weekend Films: Il a déjà tes yeux, Victoria & Abdul, Election

Picture of Julian Liurette

Julian Liurette

October 23-25, 2020: French, British and American comedies

On Friday night, we finished watching “Il a déjà tes yeux” or “He already has you eyes,” a French comedy about black parents who adopt a white baby. There are some heartwarming and funny moments, particularly the ones that involve the black grandmother discovering her grandson is white. It’s full of energy and good intentions. It’s positive and ultimately an interesting take on racism. It’s unfortunate that the last 15 minutes turn into silly, almost childish, comedy, otherwise it’s very enjoyable. (5.5/10)

After we finished watching the French comedy from 2016, we watched the 2017 film “Victoria & Abdul” which had much higher production values and the “infatigable” Judi Dench. The film takes place during the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and is apparently based on a true events. Abdul, a young, witty and handsome Indian, is brought to England to present the Queen with a gift in her honor about India. The Queen takes a liking for the young man and the film follows their developing friendship-love until her death. Judi Dench shines as she constantly does in every role she plays. Abdul, played by Ali Fazal is a likeable character but in the second half of the film, he is poorly developed. His presence is overpowered by the Queen. I would have loved to know what he was up to. However, it’s a delightful film about power and loneliness. It’s also a flattering portrait of the queen, I am not so sure events happened that positively. (6.5/10)

Finally, on Saturday night we watched “Election,” Alexander Payne’s breakthrough film made in 1999 with Reese Witherspoon and Mathew Broderick. Out of the 3 films, this is the most original one, the most inventive and provocative. It hasn’t aged. However, Reese and Mathew have. But that’s not the point. It takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, during a student election period. I wonder if the original idea for his story came from the bitter lesbian who in the story has fallen in love with another teenage girl who turns out to be straight. Anyway, I don’t have much time to write about it now but suffice is to say that if you want to watch one of the best films of 1999 and possibly of that period, I highly recommend it. We watched it on Kanopy as I don’t know that it’s available on Netflix. (8.5/10)

Bonne nuit!

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