Retirement home: review Mort De Rire


When it comes out Retirement homethe French media are making a big splash out of a scandal with social, societal and political repercussions: namely the reality of the treatment of elderly and dependent people in the private structures that take care of them, against cold hard cash.

While the capitalist logic resulting in the torture of thousands of citizens at the end of their lives electrifies the public debate, one can imagine how the promotion of Kev Adams’ new project has been hit : make people laugh with the end of life suddenly appearing in a much more puzzling light than expected.

To your good heart

However, and in spite of itself, the film maintains several links with the very real situation which it diverts to make a motif of comedy. First of all because, like the work of Victor Castanet, the pharaonic ego of Kev Adams acts like a revealing about an unknown situation, or too long ignored : the treatment of French actors by the industry, past the prime of life. Troubadours, acrobats, pillars of the boards, great entertainers or legends of the 7th Art, all are treated in the same way, that of public humiliation disguised as a tender chronicle of intergenerational transmission.

The boredom distilled by a first quarter of an hour less vigorous than a slug on the descent of barbiturates quickly gives way to bewildered amazement. That Gérard Depardieu, embarrassed by a member who will have the elegance to remain off-screen, plays pee-pee with the protagonist, that Marthe Villalonga has her poop laboriously packed by a Daniel Prévost in slow motion, or that Jean-Luc Bideau recites his theatrical classics as the cow goes to the bull, hard not to feel sincere compassion for these artists who are so complacently led to the slaughterhouse.

Gérard Depardieu: photo, retirement home, Firmine Richard

But what have they done to God?


We could pass nonchalantly over the spectacular mediocrity of the staging, whose fixity of the cutting and the greyish photo evoke the glory days of funeral convention advertisements. We could also tolerate the messy sneers of a scenario that always considers its old people like so many doormats to be trampled on, if this pile of smoking offal was the fruit of banal mediocrity.

But no, if all this vertiginous cesspool ripples like hellit’s not to celebrate incompetence or cruelly call for a youthful apocalypse, it’s simply for the glory of good Kev Adams.

Gérard Depardieu: photo, retirement home

When everyone spit discreetly in the soup

Across the Atlantic, we call a “vanity project” a production whose sole reason for being is a star who would ignore all the customs, rules and know-how in force to give birth to a feature film all to his glory. , extolling his merits and accomplishments. Perilous enterprise, some of which perform with genius (Tom Cruise), others with the elegance of a pierced stoma (Will Smith), it represents a challenge for anyone who is a little aware of its perilous dimension. But not Kev Adams, who pushes the approach into unprecedented entrenchments, also underlined by the news surrounding the film’s release.

Savior of old people, liberator of prostrate prostates, Adams is also an unrepentant reconciler, comedian of genius. Doesn’t he transform a sad canteen into an annex of the French comedy, declaiming Molière with the fever of a duodenum fighting a lukewarm tartiflette? As this walking story unfolds, the ensemble’s apparent emotional ankles jump due to their poor treatment, or the disinterest the screenplay gives them.

Only Adams counts, always in front of the rest of his cast, entirely dedicated to his jubilation, then his triumph. A cantor of infinite kindness, he reminds us that there are solutions to every misfortune, his own. In the meantime, the victims of his creations always remain the same, our pupils.

Retirement home (MDR): Official poster