FILM RELEASE – A consuming passion and a desire for fatherhood stronger than anything lead Jalil Lespert to uncontrolled reactions in The dreamed child, film by director Raphaël Jacoulot coming out this Wednesday, October 7. He shares the poster with Louise Bourgoin and Mélanie Doutey.
Since childhood, François (Jalil Lespert) has dedicated his life to wood, in the forests of the Jura, which he knows better than anyone. He has never left the region and runs the family sawmill, with his wife Noémie (Mélanie Doutey), who takes care of the management of the company and supports him morally because the financial difficulties accumulate.
Both knew each other young and form a united couple but, in private life, also have worries: they dream of having a child but do not succeed. Hormone bites, artificial insemination, nothing helps. Reluctantly, they decide to adopt.
It was then that Patricia (Louise Bourgoin), mother of two girls and whose husband, who works in Switzerland, was not always there, came to settle in the region. She does not seem to be swimming in marital happiness, and the tension which rises in the couple of Noémie and François quickly has a logical consequence: this one falls in love with Patricia.
Desire for fatherhood
An intense, passionate and sexual affair begins between them. François is a specialist in wood but not in latex: very quickly, Patricia becomes pregnant. François falters, but not for long: while his mistress asks him the question of abortion, he asks her to keep the child, his desire for fatherhood taking precedence over the problems that this risks causing in his marriage. Because each promises to the other to go tell the truth to his spouse …
“I wanted to write a film about the quest for paternity“, explains the director. “I nurtured it with personal elements: I have children myself and I grew up in an environment similar to that represented in the film: I am the son of farmers, a profession where the issues of succession, transmission are important. I was the eldest son but it was my brothers who took over the operation. I observed the recovery which was complicated, and I was inspired by their experience “.
Toxic family environment
The character of François is indeed locked in the logic of the family continuity of the sawmill created by his grandfather and in the desire – even the necessity – to found himself a family and to pass the business on to his offspring. . This environment is toxic, he has never been given the choice of his life, and he himself has never really questioned himself. And that’s why he’s going to crack.
“He’s a complex character, he could be a good son, a good entrepreneur, maybe a good father, and at the same time he has another face, more tormented, more animal, more violent. He is contained in a role in which he fails to stay, and it will end up exploding in a violent and disorderly manner “, explains the director. Jalil Lespert therefore plays a character that is a little monolithic, nervous, cowardly, weak, stubborn, badly in his skin, always angry.
More subtle female characters
More subtle and nuanced are the two female characters, the woman and the mistress. Both are stronger, more determined, more reasonable than the male character, around whom the whole plot of the film revolves. But it is original that the story is interested in this desire for fatherhood, while we often see desire for motherhood in other films. And this Dream child is an opportunity to question the family, fatherhood and motherhood, adoption, transmission between generations.
This is the fourth film by Raphaël Jacoulot, 49 years old, after Barrage (2006), Before dawn (2011) and Hot shot (2015), other psychologically heavy films. Here the story switches from sentimental suspense to news items and police suspense in the last half hour, which spoils the end a little. But the story is gripping to the end and the production is more fluid, more controlled, the film is better constructed and less first degree than in Hot shot, which was taken from a true story.
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The director has particularly taken care of the environment and the exterior sets, with a Jura forest filmed in aerial view from the start and the world of wood, trees, the sawmill which is the life of the main character.
“I turned The dreamed child in my region of origin, Franche-Comté, very close to the village where I grew up. This shoot was an opportunity to address my family through this fictional story, something came loose, to confront me with all of this did me a lot of good “, concludes Raphaël Jacoulot.