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Institute of Contemporary Arts
Robust, dir. Constance Meyer, France 2021, 95 min., French with English subtitles, 15

An ageing, fading film star (Gérard Depardieu) forms a surprising friendship with his stand-in security guard in the hugely likeable first feature from French director Constance Meyer.

Georges (Gérard Depardieu, not exactly cast against type) is a truculent, turbulent, past-his-prime actor, a troublemaking drunk whose professional career and personal life have both fallen off a cliff. Lalou (Steve Tientcheu) is Georges’ long-suffering assistant, security guard and only obvious friend. When Lalou takes a break, Aïssa (Déborah Lukumuena) – a semi-pro wrestler with a complicated love life – stands in, and the pair slowly but surely find common ground. Aided by sharp writing and undeniable on-screen chemistry, Meyer paints a convincing, even charming portrait of two people who find something in each other that they didn’t know they wanted.

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