Michael Hayward's Blog

VIFF 2021: "Bye Bye Morons (Adieu les cons)"

Michael Hayward

Due to the pandemic, last year's Vancouver International Film Festival was forced to forego all in-theatre screenings; this year, festival organizers have taken a cautious step back towards normalcy, offering a mix of in-theatre and online screenings through the VIFF Connect app (and I have great sympathy for festival programmers, who must have watched the emergence of the pandemic's fourth wave with no small amount of trepidation). Details on the 2021 Vancouver Film Festival, the festival's 40th edition, were released at a press conference on September 8th. Full festival details (including the opportunity to purchase passes and individual tickets), can be found at the VIFF website.

Press who attended the festival launch also watched a screening of actor/director Albert Dupontel's most recent film, Bye Bye Morons (Adieu les cons), a quirky comedy that pairs Jean-Baptiste (Dupontel), a suicidal IT genius, with Suze (Virginie Efira), a fatally-ill woman who is desperate to locate the child she gave up for adoption as a teenager. These two outsiders are brought together when Jean-Baptiste's suicide attempt at work goes awry, his mail-order shotgun blowing a hole through the wall of his office. On the other side of that wall is Suze, who has been pleading, unsuccessfully, for the release of her adoption records. Sensing an opportunity, Suze helps Jean-Baptiste escape, and the two of them go on the lam.

In may ways this is a classic tale of "underdogs take on the bureaucrats," a story line which has played out in countless comedies (such as Brazil) and dramas (Erin Brockovich; Michael Clayton) over many decades. The visuals of Bye Bye Morons, as well as the film's pacing and darkly-comedic tone, are indebted to the work of Charlie Kaufman, as well as to classic French comedies such as Amélie, and Delicatessan, both by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Midway or so through the film, the pair of outlaws are joined in their quest by a blind archivist, played by Nicolas Marié, who at times seems to be channelling Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove. All in all this is a good evening's entertainment, with a few rough spots where the pacing flags, or the film's generally lighter mood slips to reveal a darker undertone.

You can view the trailer for Bye Bye Morons here. There will be two in-theatre screenings of Bye Bye Morons during VIFF 2021: on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at the Hollywood Theatre, and on Sunday, October 10 at Kay Meek Arts Centre. For tickets, and additional details on the film, visit the VIFF website.



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