The title of director and co-writer Maïwenn’s complicated romance, “My King,” is ironic, not a declaration of a woman’s fealty (but maybe an admission of her emotional powerlessness). Early, in the giddy phase of Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot) and Georgio’s (Vincent Cassel) decade-long amour fou, she asks him if, like her other boyfriends, he’s going to turn out to be a jerk. He says no, and then slyly (and seductively) confesses, “I’m the king of the jerks.”
Recovering in a rehab facility after a fierce wipeout on a ski slope, Tony struggles to restore her body, and removed from her life and stressful law practice, her psychological balance. Her long, tumultuous relationship with mercurial Giorgio, the father of her son, a restaurateur with debts and sometime drug issues, has ended and she needs to understand and be released from the destructive passion.
Both leads provide totally charismatic, wholly believable performances, with seamless support from the other actors (including Maïwenn’s sister, Isild Le Besco, whose character has my sister’s name, spelled differently, but pronounced Babette). Bercot’s portrayal of a woman, with a big, infectious laugh, nearly driven mad by a man she can’t quite have and can’t quite leave deservedly won her the Best Actress at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
A bit formulaic, perhaps, and a bit too long, but “Mon Roi” is irresistible. I love the film, so much fun to vicariously (i.e., safely) live Tony’s relationship . Who wouldn’t want to have a big love affair (fou or otherwise) with Vincent Cassel?
Although I’m always thinking about movies, this is just a capsule review because it’s almost mid-August and I’m distracted by trying to eat a winter’s worth of tomatoes and peaches and throwing balls and sticks for Leo and Ryder at the swimming hole.