Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ricky (2009 film)




Written and directed by Francois Ozon, Ricky is the story about a couple who gain a baby only to realize that it has angel wings on its back. The film is about two people dealing with their newborn child’s abnormality as it’s told in a dramatic style with bits of humor. Starring Sergi Lopez, Alexandra Lamy, Melusine Mayance, and Arthur Peyret. Ricky is a strange yet heartfelt film from Francois Ozon.

The film is a simple story of two factory workers who meet, fall in love, and have a baby who later grows wings on its back. The film is more about this family dealing with this baby’s abnormality where a mother in Katie (Alexandra Lamy) and her young daughter Lisa (Melusine Mayance) are trying to figure out what is coming out of the baby’s back. While Katie at first accuses her Spanish boyfriend Paco (Sergi Lopez) for the bruises on the baby’s back as he leaves. Once they realize that the baby named Ricky (Arthur Peyret) has wings and can fly, they try to keep it secret until the whole world knows about it as Paco returns to find a way to make money for the family that will also ensure Ricky’s safety. Instead, things beyond their control only make matters much more complicated. Largely as writer/director Francois Ozon is trying to explore the world of family as they all try to come together to deal with something as strange as a baby with wings.

Though the plot is a simple one, its story is largely dramatic where there elements of realism into the way Katie and Lisa deal with Ricky’s growing wings. Eventually, things do get unveiled where it does have an element of comedy and fantasy though it makes it makes some of the narrative a bit uneven. Still, Ozon does play with the conventions of how of Katie and Paco meet and fall in love as well as the conception of Ricky. Though Lisa is understandably wary towards Paco at first, she eventually realizes that he is a good, kind-hearted man but also flawed since he’s also a guy. The direction is quite simple as it’s very low-key and restrained as far as the drama is concerned. While the compositions are direct and to the point, the scenes involving Ricky flying does have this element of fantasy as well as the idea of something that can be described as a miracle. Overall, Ozon creates a very worthwhile though uneven film about a baby with wings and a family coming together.

Cinematographer Jeanne Lapoirie does excellent work with the cinematography from the use of lights in many of the film‘s interiors to some of the low-key lighting schemes for some of its nighttime exterior scenes. Editor Muriel Breton does nice work with the editing as it‘s mostly straightforward except for some rhythmic cuts for the scene of Ricky flying in the supermarket. Production designer Katia Wyszkop does terrific work with the set pieces from the look of Lisa and Ricky’s room to look of the supermarket.

Costume designer Pascaline Chavanne does some good work with the costumes as it‘s mostly casual. Visual effects supervisor Mathilde Tollec does some fine work with the scenes of Ricky flying where it has a realistic look but also can look wobbly at times. Sound editor Olivier Goinard does some terrific work with the sound to capture some of the chaos involving the media‘s search for Ricky. The film’s music by Philippe Rombi is brilliant as it features a somber yet serene score with some orchestral textures and piano pieces as it’s a highlight of the film.

The film’s cast features some notable small roles from Jean-Claude Bolle-Reddat as a journalist who is covering Ricky’s story late in the film, Andre Wilms as a doctor who is concerned about Ricky’s well-being, and Arthur Peyret as the very adorable baby Ricky. Melusine Mayance is excellent as Ricky’s older half-sister Lisa who is concerned for Ricky as well as the impact it’s having over everyone around her. Sergi Lopez is terrific as Paco as a man who is trying to be a good father only to be accused of doing something to Ricky where he eventually returns to try and do the right thing for the family. Finally, there’s Alexandra Lamy in a superb performance as Katie as a woman dealing with her newborn’s son abnormality while wanting to keep it secret as she becomes unsure of what to think about everything she’s dealing with.

Ricky is a good although somewhat silly film from Francois Ozon. While it has moments that are exciting as well as engaging, it’s really one of Ozon’s weakest films as it doesn’t have a lot of the more dramatic elements of his work as well as some of its more archaic humor. In the end, Ricky is a worthwhile and fine film from Francois Ozon.

Francois Ozon Films: See the Sea - Sitcom - Criminal Lovers - Water Drops on Burning Rocks - Under the Sand - 8 Women - Swimming Pool - 5x2 - Time to Leave - Angel (2007 film) - Le Refuge - Potiche - In the House - Jeune & Jolie - (The New Girlfriend) - The Auteurs #33: Francois Ozon

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