Connect with us
If you like films that stretch the very limits of what French cinema can do, don't watch 'Jessica Forever.'

Film

Berlinale 2019: ‘Jessica Forever’ is Nonsensical Trash

If you like films that stretch the very limits of what French cinema can do, don’t watch ‘Jessica Forever.’

Jessica’s boys are very pretty. Soft with sad faces, dopey when they walk, quiet when they talk. They’re strong, well built from endless exercise. They sit around and pose like they’re in an I-D editorial. Harbouring a lifetime of regret, they want to rebuild their lives. They’re also completely devoid of character. They mope and mope and mope, their glum faces challenging you to walk out the cinema. The only reason I stayed was to watch them all die.

Feeling like a fashion shoot for an athleisure brand that accidentally gained sentience after reading a Young Adult novel, Jessica Forever is nonsensical trash. Barely engaging in any narrative or developing any characters or even establishing a certain type of mood, it feels like a feature-length troll. Still, even if the whole thing is a protracted joke (which I’m sure its not), the piddling results remain the same. You want to see sexy men in a good French movie? Watch Beau Travail.

As orphans, these boys are outcasts from society (for some reason) who stalk around small villages (for some reason) and kill for food and pleasure (for some reason). The only person who takes any chance on them is Jessica (Aomi Muyock), as boring and blank-faced as the best of them. She rescues them from killer drones (yes, killer drones) and gives them a place to live. When their previous home is attacked, they escape to a remote island, where they are given the chance to rebuild again.

A regular five or ten-minute stretch in Jessica Forever goes like this: voiceover about not being able to move on, a shot of all the boys sitting in one place, a completely unconnected shot of a boy crying or staring into space, another group shot of all the boys sitting in another place, a school photo. The only (unintended?) effect the film creates is one of total bemusement. We never learn why these orphans are outcasts or why drones are trying to kill them, and when two boys suddenly walk around a supermarket without any problem, one can’t understand how you are supposed to spot an orphan, or why they need to go into hiding in the first place. There are no rules. Chaos reigns.

There could’ve been some interesting ways to go with the material, such as exploring how the only matriarch in the group has power over vulnerable men. The way they might compete for her attention. The devastating effects of solitude and the yearning for human connection. The inability to get over the past. Directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel don’t really want to explore any of that, however, and instead deploy endless empty platitudes and poses, scored by euro-trance and grungy post-rock. One of the boys does develop a relationship with a girl he meets on the beach, but this really feels like an excuse for the directors to throw in some artfully shot cunnilingus.

I’ll say this: it’s rare that a film can be cringeworthy and boring at the same time. Usually the very element of cringe makes a film worth watching, yet here it simply rubs salt into the wound. They should’ve just taken some pictures and pitched them to a magazine. This is a poor excuse for a film.

The 69th Berlin Film Festival runs February 7, 2019 – February 17, 2019. Visit the festival’s official website for more info.

Written By

As far back as he can remember, Redmond Bacon always wanted to be a film critic. To him, being a film critic was better than being President of the United States

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook

Trending

Amy Ross Lopez Daughter: The Inspiring Story of Amy Ross Lopez’s Daughter’s American Idol Journey!

Celebrity

Emmy Russell’s Granddaughter: From the Shadows of Royalty to the Spotlight of American Idol!

Celebrity

Memphis Anchor Cause of Death Revealed! How Did She Die?

Celebrity

Robert Reid Cause of Death: Uncovering the Illness Responsible for His Passing!

Celebrity

Melissa McCarthy Weight Loss: The Ultimate Guide to Her Inspiring Weight Loss Journey!

Celebrity

Dexter Romweber Cause of Death: Exploring the Factors Contributing to His Passing!

Celebrity

Is Annie Osgood Gay? Unveiling the Reality Behind Her Alleged Sexual Orientation!

Celebrity

Martell Holt Net Worth Martell Holt Net Worth

Martell Holt Net Worth

Culture

Joni Mitchell Announces First Los Angeles Concert In 24 Years

Celebrity

Who Is Kelsey Cook’s Husband? Who Is Her Husband and How They Tied the Knot?

Celebrity

Benzino Drops Another Eminem Diss

Celebrity

Is Elisabeth Moss Pregnant? Moss Addresses Speculation About Her Pregnancy!

Celebrity

Christian Petroni Wife: Discover His Wife, Kids, and Family Life!

Celebrity

Who Are Chrisean Rock Parents? Unraveling Her Family Roots and Nationality!

Celebrity

Who Is Sam Purcell’s Wife? Meet His Wife and Children!

Celebrity

Dagen McDowell Illness: Is She Battling a Serious Disease?

Celebrity

Connect