The Alpe d’Huez International Comedy Film Festival rewards audacity and youth


Gain height and warm up the zygomatics. This is the motto of the Festival de l’Alpe d’Huez, the unmissable comedy film event nestled in the Isère station at 1,860 meters above sea level. On Saturday, in the final stretch of a six-day marathon, Frédéric Cassoly and Clément Lemoine, the organizers of the FAH, showed their satisfaction under a radiant sun. Festival attendees were present to attend, for free, the screenings held at the Palais des Sports et des Congrès, transformed into a temple of French comedy.

“The public returns to the hall, en masse. Last year was still a bit complicated with health measures. A certain category of the population, especially the elderly who represent a large part of the Alpe public, still hesitated to come. This year, we felt a real desire to come together to laugh together, all generations together.” rejoiced Frédéric Cassoly a few hours before the closing evening of the presentation of the list of prizes of the jury chaired by Karin Viard. A list of awards that gave a place of interest to youth and audacity.

Mélanie Auffret, a girl from Alpe d’Huez

Thus, the Grand Prix was awarded to Benjamin Lehrer for his film 38°5 Quai des Orfèvres with Didier Bourdon and Camille Anglade. Enter a UFO The city of fear and a pastiche of Silence of the lambs, sometimes meandering, but full of ideas (Artus irresistible as a coroner). In a radically different register, the young director Mélanie Auffret stands out as the big winner of this edition. His movie The Little Victoriesa rural comedy about the priesthood of a brave mayor of a Breton village (the remarkable Julia Piaton) won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award.

A well-deserved crowning for the director and screenwriter of Vannes. “I was professionally born here” emphasized Mélanie Auffret who was selected at Alpe in 2017 with her first short film, and two years later with her first feature film, Roxane. “Mélanie is a girl from the Alpe d’Huez, like Philippe Lacheau who revealed himself to the general public with Baby Sitting presented at the festival in 2014” remembers Frédéric Cassoly.

Brune Moulin, a raw talent to follow very closely

Acting awards were also monopolized by the new generation. The talented William Lebghil wins Best Actor for his flawless score The partners in crime, a comedy in thriller form with Laura Felpin and François Damiens as a depressed hitman. For his part, Brune Moulin undoubtedly stands out as the revelation of this edition.

At only fifteen years old, she shines in Victoria Bedos’ beautiful film, The most beautiful to go dancing : a modern marivaudage about the story of Marie-Luce, a maladjusted teenager who discovers an unsuspected power of seduction by disguising herself as a boy. On Saturday evening, upon receiving his trophy, he could not hold back the tears of joy: “And say I have a maths assessment on Monday” the self-taught young actress was amused. A raw talent to follow very closely…

Ten films in competition

Among the other beautiful proposals of this edition, we will keep them A happy man by Tristan Séguéla, a comedy about transidentity by the duo Fabrice Luchini-Catherine Frot. Not forgetting the film from Quebec and December 23 by Miryam Bouchard, a choral comedy about a chaotic Christmas, crowned with the Jury’s Coup de Coeur. Of the ten films in competition, some turned out to be more disappointing. This is the case of Good heavens! by Laurent Tirard (Molière, The return of the hero, The speech) about the adventures of five nuns (Valérie Bonneton, Camille Chamoux…) determined to win a cycling race to save Ehpad from their village.

A comedy too cartoonish to be taken seriously. The presence in the official selection of To the most beautiful star by Sébastien Tulard also surprises. In this film inspired by the success story of Yazid Ichemrahe, a boy from Epernay who became a world pastry champion, an essential ingredient is missing, humor, played by YouTuber Riadh Belaïche.

Beyond these reservations, the FAH 2023 poster illustrates all the richness of comedy cinema. “The range is very wide. Let’s go from Philippe Lacheau’s Alibi.Com 2, a machine gun of gags and valves, to more sentimental comedies, compromises, niche films » emphasizes Antoine Bertrand, actor from Quebec with XXL talent, member of the jury (alongside Bérengère Krief, Camille Chamoux and Stéphane Foenkinos). Global warming, old age, rurality, issues of identity and gender…

French comedy has once again shown its appetite for social issues. “ The current trend is towards so-called “family” films, intergenerational relationships based on benevolence, exchange, mutual enrichment”, analyzes Clément Lemoine. A subject approached with delicacy, humor and poetry The most beautiful to go dancing by Victoria Bedos where Marie-Luce lives surrounded by elderly people in the boarding house run by her father in denial of his wife’s death. Presented at the end of the festival, A small miracle, by Sophie Boudre also turned Alpe’s audience upside down. The story, inspired by real events, of a teacher (Alice Pol) who, after the fire of her school, installs her class in a retirement home taken remotely by her principal who is about to burn out (Jonathan Zaccai). We also find Eddy Mitchell in a tailor-made role as grumpy and tender retiree at the same time. Sexuality of the elderly (in the context of the Viagra trade), distress of understaffed nursing staff, transmission between the elderly and children… So many topics covered, without a bit of pathos, with a smart dose of humor and emotion.

Source : Le JDD

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