Spotlight on shorts: Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (2013)

Monia Chokri (who had small parts in Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways and Heartbeats)‘s directorial debut, a half-hour long short that was shown and won prizes at a multitude of festivals, is an acidically entertaining comedy.

It’s distinctly stylistically influenced by Dolan’s work, colour palette, exuberant characters, and biting dialogue delivery and all, who serves as the editor. Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire (translating to An Extraordinary Person in English) centres on 30 year old Sarah (Magalie Lepine Blondeau), a socially inept, authenticity-seeking eternal scholar who, after ending up in the suburban home of a teenager in a drunken haze, is forced to attend the bridal shower of a friend. The film is primarily about the two conflicting sides of herself Sarah presents to others – the one of unfiltered opinions and superiority to her friends and the one of care to the teenager she may or may not have had sex with.

The real centrepiece of the film however is the epic 10 minute party sequence, which is executed more like a battle than a celebration with excellent and uncomfortably hilarious results, exuding an almost reality tv-like atmosphere. Back and forth like piercing bullets words are fired and spat with venom in quick succession, tearing the would-be celebratory atmosphere to shreds. The opening and closing sequences may lack the verve and punch of the climactic moments, but watching the carefully constructed party collapse in a mess of biting, perfectly flung insults more than makes up for it. Someone needs to put Evelyne Brochu in a comedy.

Rating: 4/5

You can watch the short for 99c on Vimeo.

Awards: Locarno Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 official selection

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