Not My Type

Clement, a young philosophy teacher, is sent to Arras for a year. He meets Jennifer, a pretty hair stylist, and the two freely share their hearts and bodies as they try to overcome the cultural and social divide between them.


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  • ★★★★★ review by L Saturnino on Letterboxd

    When France meets France...

    Dizer que ele não a entende seria o mais fácil. O problema é que eu até acho que ele entende, compreende o embaraço e o sofrimento, o que não faz é a mínima ideia de por onde começar a se importar. Se a indiferença inicial é desconcertante, a falta de tato que se sucede é perturbadora. Sua inconsequência quase ideológica acarretou em, quem diria, consequências – ônus e bônus em formas muito pouco abstratas.

    Pinta-se um retrato sintomático do intelectual em nossos tempos: a merda está clara, as razões por detrás são plenamente identificáveis, porém faltam-lhe as faculdades práticas para se aproximar. Fora de Paris, o que o choca é, antes de tudo, a breguice, o simplório, o provincianismo. O filme é cheio de cantos nacionalistas, cruzamos até com um mendigo neonazista. E sabemos para onde aponta a filmografia de Belvaux – essa conta vai chegar.

    Do abismo que separa os dois provincianismos surge um rancor irremediável criado pela humilhação e paternalismo que ele muito organicamente a impõe. Poucos filmes de terror possuem uma cena tão excruciante quanto a que ela joga umas verdades na cara dele e ele sequer se dá o trabalho de mentir. Não se trata de sadismo, o mal que ele a causa sai muito natural – ele nem o deseja, apenas demora muito para se importar, quanto mais agir.

    Enquanto a primeira metade é um exercício de gênero magistral (vou provocar e dizer que, atualmente, há mais para os formalistas explorarem no cinema europeu do que no norte-americano), a segunda é de uma brutalidade por vezes dolorosa de assistir – é cruel, é indigno, é constrangedor. Tá tudo aqui: melodrama, política, forma, conteúdo.

    Émilie Dequenne é genial, o que ela faz aqui é coisa de gênio. Quando termina sua última performance no karaokê, uma lágrima escorre pelo rosto que é todo suor, altivez, desolação e raiva. É a maior atuação da década, talvez do século, junto a – claro – Nina Hoss em “Phoenix”.

    Obra-prima do caralho.

  • ★★★★ review by Filipe Furtado on Letterboxd

    Belgium auteur Lucas Belvaux has worked hard the past couple of decades into honor a place as sort of mid-talent Chabrol with a series of well observed minor key thrillers (plus his more ambitious and Cannes honored trilogy of interlocked tales from 2002). That seems to have prapare him very well to this romantic drama about class and the power dynamics in a relationship easily the best thing by him I've seen as well as one of the finest French films of recent years. It predictably disappeared from a film festival circuit whose programmers and critics who enable them have no idea what to do with a film about the doomed relationship between a comitophobe philosphy professor and a hairdresser even if it happens to star Rosetta herself. Staged with deft care about the many ways two people can walk around each other how one can or not have the upper hand in a relationship. It is all very French, a film about power and class filtered through taste if one very wise about those things and ther limitations. Emile Duquenne and Loic Corbery are both immense and work with Belvaux so their relationship remains rather anchored and credible while allowing the film to remain ambigous about it. Only misstep is a final manologue in which a supporting character underline some of the film's points too much. Great karaoke scene as well.

  • ★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd


    [originally written as part of my first report from TIFF '14 for The Dissolve; I'd just trashed Men, Women & Children in the previous paragraph.]

    On the surface, Lucas Belvaux’s Not My Type (pompous alternate title: Men & Women) appears equally unpersuasive, with a high-concept premise that could easily serve as the basis for a truly dire rom-com. He’s a philosophy professor who quotes Kant in casual conversation and doesn’t even own a TV set! She’s a hairdresser who’s obsessed with Jennifer Aniston’s love life and spends her weekends performing at karaoke bars! How will this relationship ever work?!? Rather than mine such a goofy scenario for comedy, however, Belvaux (Rapt) takes it seriously, allowing both lovers to emerge as complex people who transcend their respective stereotypes, even as they also embody them. The notion that opposites attract is such a tired cliché that, paradoxically, it was ripe for reassessment; working from a novel by Philippe Vilain, Belvaux painstakingly explores all the reasons why it’s true and false, so deftly that it’s hard to be sure whether one is meant to be rooting for the couple or against them. With the wrong actors, it might not have worked, but Not My Type features two of the best performances I’ve seen all year (not just at TIFF), with Emilie Dequenne tearing into her perpetually cheerful dynamo—a role light years removed from her feral, star-making turn as the Dardennes’ Rosetta—and Loïc Corbery finding startling depth and a rich vein of dry humor in his intellectual commitment-phobe. Because a glance at the film’s synopsis does it no favors, it’s buzz-free at the moment, and is liable to slip under the radar, just as all of Belvaux’s previous films have. That’d be a shame, as he’s exactly the sort of underrated talent a festival like this one should help folks discover.

  • ★★★★★ review by L Saturnino on Letterboxd

    Émilie Dequenne cantando I Will Survive no karaokê é peça de antologia: só cinema, todo o cinema e nada mais do que o cinema. De chorar com um sorrisão aberto.

  • ★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd

    One can count on Belgian director Lucas Belvaux to deliver a film of uncommon sensibility no matter what the genre. Here he is doing the bitter-sweet romantic dramady genre about as well as it can be done. It's the story of Clément, a Parisian philosophy teacher and author who has commitment issues. He has been exiled for a year working as a teacher in a small provincial town; and there he meets a vivacious blonde woman named Jennifer, a single mother who cuts hair and is every bit the hick that he abhors. But there's this undeniable mutual attraction...

    It's no accident that her name is Jennifer (pronounced with an English "J". ) Her hero is plucky Jennifer Anniston (and of course the professor has never heard of that actress.) Along with her best buds from work, Jennifer does disco karaoke...and she's really good, in an enthusiastic amateur fashion. As portrayed by lovely Émilie Dequenne, she's a fireball of enthusiasm, a ray of light.

    Handsome, 30-ish actor Löic Corbery plays stalwart Clément...and he's quite good here. I don't think I've ever seen him in a film before; but I expect this to lead to other film roles. The film is notable for its resolute anti-Hollywood take on the rom-com genre. However, maybe there's a good reason for the traditional Hollywood ending, since I was prepared to rank this film much higher until the closing scenes. Also, despite holding my interest throughout, the film could use a little judicious pruning. At two hours, it seems a little padded. Still, the superb central performances and the smart script make this a film to watch for.

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