IFI French Film Festival 2012: What’s in a Name

The 13th IFI French Film Festival, 14 – 25 November, IFI, Dublin

What’s in a Name (Le Prenom) entertained a sold-out screening last night at the IFI French Film Festival and as it turned out there are a lot of laughs in a name as the IFI crowd enjoyed Mathieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere’s witty screen adaptation of their successful 2010 comic play.

A dinner between family and friends ends in disaster as a particular matter of mischief leads to the veneer of their relationships being stripped away to reveal certain truths that lie beneath.

Charles Berling plays Sorbonne professor Pierre, married to his schoolteacher wife, Elisabeth (Valerie Benguigui). They are preparing to host a meal for her suave brother, Vincent (Patrick Bruel), his wife, Anna (Judith El Zein), and their loyal friend Claude (Guillaume de Tonquedec).

When Vincent decides to take this opportunity to announce the name of his wife’s due baby boy, all verbal hell breaks loose and leads to a boisterous series of revelations and histrionic confrontations.

Staying true to its theatrical roots, What’s in a Name is an enjoyable farce of shit stirring, displaying the effects of how tightly-wound people explode under pressure. This delightfully savvy comedy is timed to perfection and the animated performances prove essential to the film’s ability to succeed within its one-room setting.

I smell a Hollywood remake.

What’s in a Name will screen again as part of the festival on Saturday, 24th November at 13.00

Earlier in the day, Granny’s Funeral had its second screening of the festival, followed by Héléna Klotz’s Atomic Age, a tale of Parisien v-Neck wearing hipsters, which screened as part of the First-Time Directors strand. ‘LaTerZ’.

The IFI French Film Festival 2012 continues today, Wednesday, 21st November, with

Farewell, My Queen at 15.40

Benoit Jacquot’s fictional account of the very final days of the reign of the caked-up Marie Antoinette.

Aliyah at 18.10

Cedric Khan’s portrait of a low-level drug dealer.

Laurence Anyways at 20.00

Xavier Dolan’s charts the dynamic of the close and loving relationship between Laurence and Fred after he one day announces that he wants to become a woman – that old chestnut.

Steven Galvin

Full details of all the films can be found at www.ifi.ie/FrenchFest



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