Rag boy *
by Nicolas Maury
French film, 1 h 50
Nicolas Maury, it’s Hervé. The agent a little left, homosexual assumed but badly in his skin, of the series Ten percent who made it known to the general public. A composition role tailor-made for a somewhat unusual actor who has undoubtedly put a lot of himself into it. It is therefore not surprising to find him again for his first production, behind and in front of the camera, in the skin of a more or less similar character.
This “rag boy” of the title, tortured by jealousy and professional uncertainties, who leaves for his native province to seek from his mother a little peace and self-confidence.
→ CRITICAL. Series: “Ten percent”, end clap
The hero of his film that he plays, Jérémie, is not an agent this time but an actor whose career is struggling to take off and whose couple is seriously struggling due to his repeated fits of jealousy.
Autofiction hidden behind a good dose of self-mockery
While his partner Albert (Arnaud Valois), worn out by his suspicion, decides to leave him and that he must audition for the role of Moritz in Spring awakening by Frank Wedekind – a play that takes him back to the frailties of his childhood – he decides to return to the Limousin to recharge his batteries with his mother, Bernadette (Nathalie Baye), who runs rural lodges there.
Nicolas Maury paints a sensitive portrait of a character who looks like him without being quite him, with his flaws and his questions about his talent as well as his relationship to masculinity. Like a Guillaume Gallienne, he practices autofiction while hiding it behind a strong dose of self-mockery and connects sketches that are alternately funny, tragic or grotesque.
But the comedian does not have the slaughter of his elder brother and carries with him a mixture of sadness and melancholy that permeates the whole film. Despite a few scenes of bravery, in particular the one where Laure Calamy plays a director who “goes wild”, and the pretty relationship between mother and son carried by the worried grace of Nathalie Baye, the film is so self-centered that it does not manage to take us elsewhere and we end up getting bored facing the bruises to the soul of this touching boy.