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Stars: Jean Dujardin, Adele Haenen, Albert Delpy, Marie Bunel, Stephane Jobert, Simon Thomas, Tom Hudson, Maryne Cayon, Thomas Blanchard

Director: Quentin Dupieux

A grouchy absurdist comedy-drama about a newly divorced man, Georges (The Artist's Dujardin), obsessed with a deerskin jacket, that almost runs like a home movie.

'Drowning' his old jacket in a roadside toilet, and paying a ridiculous 7500 euros for the (second-hand) deerskin - practically his/his ex-wife's total savings - Georges heads to a small town in the shadow of the Pyrenees, where he is naturally unable to pay his hotel bill, especially as his wife has blocked their joint account. He sells his wedding ring to give him time.

Befriending a bartender (Haenen), who is coincidentally a film editor, Georges tells her he's a film-maker scouting for a new movie and shoots a series of non-events on his cine-camera, which she seems excited to put together. At the same time he steals various locals' jackets under various 'filming' pretences, as he wants his deerskin to be the only jacket in the world. He even holds conversations with it.

When the hotel clerk commits suicide, Georges takes the man's deerskin hat. Later, with the bartender's help, he obtains deerskin boots and trousers. Sharpening the blade of a fan from the ceiling of his room, Georges now resorts to a series of murders to eliminate all jackets from the village.

With a bland Dujardin struggling to find the core of a character that doesn't have one, this is off-the-wall stuff that some might give 10 stars to, and others one. At intervals there are shots of an actual deer, but then the restlessly-shot film seems as much patched together as the stuff on Georges' camera.

The director is known for far-out projects in the worst possible taste, and his next is about a giant fly that gets adopted as a pet. Can't wait.

David Quinlan

France 2019. UK Distributor: Picturehouse. Technicolor.
77 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 15 Jul 2021