The 5 best and 5 worst films by Jean Dujardin

From the comedy troupe Nous C Nous to the Oscar for The artistfrom OSS 117 to I accuse, Jean Dujardin’s career is one of the most brilliant in French cinema today. The release of the film November, devoted to the hunt for the terrorists of the attacks of November 13, offers a good opportunity to delve into the filmography of the actor, in order to extract the 5 best nuggets … but also the 5 least feature films convincing. Subjectivity obliges, not everyone will agree… And that’s good.

The tops

5. The sound of ice cubes by Bertrand Blier (2010)

“Hello, I am your cancer. I think it would be nice to get to know each other a little bit. » One morning, Albert Dupontel, insurance broker’s suit, tired eyes and grimacing smile, rings the doorbell of Jean Dujardin, a writer who no longer writes and has been drinking white wine (very cold) since his wife left him. The sound of ice cubes is a dramatic comedy in the true sense of the term, which mixes laughter and tragedy in the staging of the disastrous and pathetic pas de deux of a man with death, punctuated by the sound of the famous ice cubes in the champagne bucket. Dujardin is impeccable with dazed sobriety as the alcoholic and depressed Charles Faulque; Dupontel plays cancer like nobody else; the whole is served by a few dialogues in the pure Blierian tradition: “Cancer never lets go, it sticks to the ass. It’s like shit when there’s no more paper. »

4. The artist by Michel Hazanavicius (2011)

In Hollywood, in 1927, two trajectories crossed. Silent film star George Valentin was forgotten when talkies arrived when young extra Peppy Miller’s career took the opposite turn and made her a star. Who was waiting for Jean Dujardin in a period film, in black and white and silent? And yet, the actor takes on his full dimension: his sense of rhythm and his expressiveness allow The Artist to reproduce the spirit and style of silent films. The icing on the cake, his duet with Bérénice Béjo, in the role of Peppy Miller, works wonderfully. A classic to the glory of the golden age of Hollywood rewarded with five Oscars, including that of best actor for Jean Dujardin.

3. I accuse by Roman Polanski (2019)

The reception of this film was parasitized by the controversy surrounding its director, Roman Polanski. But not enough to eclipse a Jean Dujardin camped in the uniform and the dignity of Colonel Picquart, the one who discovered the machination hatched against Alfred Dreyfus at the end of the 19th century. A sober and meticulous performance, which underlines that the rehabilitation of Captain Dreyfus owes a lot to a man who had the courage to doubt, at the risk of his military career. And confirms, in passing, that Dujardin can rub shoulders without blushing with roles imbued with historical gravity.

2. OSS 117: Rio is unresponsive by Michel Hazanavicius (2009)

Second part of the parodic and inspired saga, Rio no longer responds, was filmed with splendor in natural settings in Brazil, from the Iguaçu Falls to the Amazonian forest, passing by the Piton du Christ of Corcovado. This time, Hubert Bonisseur from La Bath is responsible for recovering a compromising microfilm in Rio; her teammate is a Mossad lieutenant-colonel. Can we laugh at everything? OSS 117 answers in the affirmative and drops anti-Semitic valves by the shovel. Always blundering, showing off, homophobic, macho, uneducated and so on, Jean Dujardin, navigating from a Nazi ball to a hippie orgy, takes on the abyssal bullshit of his character with scalpel precision and an infernal tempo. Preceding each of his appalling replies with a cooing laugh of a satisfied fool, offsetting each racist joke with a macho joke, he manages to defuse any hint of resistance or politically correct indignation in the hilarious spectator.

1. OSS 117: Cairo, spy’s nest by Michel Hazanavicius (2006)

Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath is a French secret service agent. His registration number: OSS 117. Machist, racist, sure of himself, he swears by René Coty… and manages the feat of being endearing despite everything. Sent to Egypt in search of his missing teammate, he will have to collaborate with Larmina, an Egyptian agent played by Bérénice Béjo. “It’s funny, it’s always the Nazis who have the bad role. We are in 1955, Herr Bramard, we can have a second chance, thank you. » Rhythmic, absurd and far from “politically correct”: the genius of Michel Hazanavicius on screen.

The flops

5. OSS 117: red alert in black Africa by Nicolas Bedos (2021)

Is it the law of the series that makes a good franchise always end up eroding? Or the realization of Bedos? Still, in this new opus, where Jean Dujardin puts on his Hubert Bonnisseur de la Bath costume again – this time faced with the arrival of the left in power in 1981 – we alternate in the face of replies between smiling polite and dismayed look. The jokes on Mitterrand as on MeToo systematically fall flat and Pierre Niney, undoubtedly called to the rescue to rejuvenate, cannot do much about it, alas.

4. Men Monuments by George Clooney (2014)

Several additional infusions of coffee should have been administered to George Clooney for the realization of this (too) feature film. His intuition and intentions didn’t seem bad though. Tell the story of the group responsible for following the Allies during the Second World War to recover the works of art stolen by the Nazis. On the menu an XXL cast: Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, George Clooney himself and Jean Dujardin in the role of a French lieutenant. The result is lukewarm and breathless. Too ambitious, the film reveals beautiful scenes of reconstruction, but the combination between buddy movie and historical drama definitely doesn’t work.

3. Presidents by Anne Fontaine (2021)

In “Presidents”, Jean Dujardin and Grégory Gadebois portray Sarkozy and Hollande. The two former presidents, who live very badly their political retirement, decide to unite to stand for the next presidential election. A boredom that reveals the addiction that politics is for these former heads of state. To which one would be tempted to answer “why not”. But the result is unsatisfactory. Most of the gags are based on the caricature of certain traits attributed to one or the other of the characters – nervousness and facial expressions in Sarkozy and the flirtatious and flabby side of Hollande – and the dialogues are poor. Although the interpretation is quite good, the lazy staging weighs down the appeal of this story, which looks like a pretty moral.

2. Brian 3 by James Huth (2016)

Funny idea to get on Brice de Nice’s surfboard again, ten years after the first adventures. The film pushes its absurd delirium even further, sending its yellow hero to Hawaii to meet an evil double. For the joke, the film is called “Brice 3” although there has never been a second episode… but one wonders if Jean Dujardin and James Huth, the director, have not been struck by the curse of number 3. As The Bronzed 3 Where Visitors 3, nostalgia ultimately rhymes with getting old, no need to run after our good memories, they always distance us. Put another way. : the valves follow one another but fall to the side, this time.

1. lucky Luke by James Huth (2009)

Like the impression of being projected into a gigantic theme park where the animators have been paid to make you feel uncomfortable at each attraction.
In this adaptation of the Belgian comic strip, Jean Dujardin embodies the famous “Lonesome Cow” who has returned to his hometown of Daisy Town to pacify it on behalf of the President of the United States, and thus complete the construction of the rail. The film is directed by James Huth, to whom we also owe Brice of Nice, and boils down to a succession of nonsense and clownish rudeness spread over an indigestible scenario to make young and old vomit. The late Goscinny would probably have preferred to eat his character’s hat rather than allow this nanar to be made.

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The 5 best and 5 worst films by Jean Dujardin

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