JUST TO BE SURE seems to be the perfect title for a film about a chap who mine sweeps for a living.
Erwan is a bomb disposal expert, a widower with a social worker daughter about to become a single mum, when, suddenly, shockingly, an unexpected emotional bombshell explodes.
Erwan discovers via DNA testing that his father is not his biological progenitor. Erwan bombastically hires a private detective to trace his authentic ancestor and her investigation leads him to make furtive contact with Joseph, a man in a neighbouring town. On his way home, he meets, by accident, literally, a woman, Anna, a no nonsense doctor. Returning to advance his acquaintance with Joseph, he bumps into Anna and, in one of the pluckiest, frankest and funniest pick up lines in cinema, invites her on a date.
These two new beginnings – three if you count his impending grand-fatherhood – are contrasted with his past, the relationship he has with the man who raised him, Bastien, and the relationship he has with his daughter, Juliette, who he has single parented since his wife died, and who steadfastly refuses to name the father of her gestating child.
Director and co screenwriter, CarineTardieu brilliantly uses metaphor throughout JUST TO BE SURE, just to be sure audiences get the picture. The symbolism of a man who searches, digs into the ground to unearth a deeply buried bomb then digging into his past, going to the origins, he risks unveiling secrets that are potentially explosive.
Erwan’s journey from here to paternity is sign posted with promiscuity, filial responsibility, sexual politics and incest.
The casting is sublime. Francois Damiens is superb as Erwan,the usually unflappable flustered father who finds he he has two fathers and fervently wants to know who fathered his grandchild.
Cecile de France is radiant, luminous, intelligent and charming as Anna, coming to terms with her father’s alleged indiscretions and the prospect of a family she never knew existed and the pitfalls of the spectre of sibling romance.
Guy Marchand and Andre Wilms are splendid as the two old dads facing up to the secrets and lies of the past with a positive and philosophical view to the future. Alice de Lencquesaing is delightful as the headstrong Juliette, and Estaban, the actor formerly known as Michael Bensoussan is dizzigly daffy as Didier, a dunce and a dag, who just may be the sperm donor of Juliette’s child.
Shot in Brittany, more specifically the Bay of Morbihan on the Etel river, with its indented and eroded coastline, JUST TO BE SURE is a sure fire comedy of the sewing of wild oats and the reaping of the results. Serious fun.
For more information and session times http://www.palacefilms.com.au/justtobesure/