Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Slightly Pregnant Man

Written and directed by Jacques Demy, L’Evenement le plus important depuis que l’homme sur la Lune (A Slightly Pregnant Man) is the story of a man who believes he is pregnant as he copes with what is happening to him where he seeks help from his fiancée. The film is a comedy that play into the idea of a man becoming pregnant. Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. L’Evenement le plus important depuis l’homme sur la Lune is a witty and delightful from Jacques Demy.

The film follows a man who is feeling ill where he goes to a doctor where it is believed that he is pregnant. That is pretty much the premise of the film as it play into the idea of a man becoming pregnant as it would create sensation around those who work with him or socialize with him where he would become this unlikely spokesman for pregnant men. Jacques Demy’s screenplay is straightforward as it play into the plight that Marco Mazetti (Marcello Mastroianni) endures as he feels ill during his job as a driving instructor as he takes his live-in girlfriend/hairstylist Irene de Fontenoy (Catherine Deneuve) and their son Lucas (Benjamin Legrand) to see Mirielle Mathieu only to leave the concert early. Through Irene’s advice to visit one of her clients in Dr. Delavigne (Micheline Presle), Marco’s unusual revelation comes to ahead as Dr. Delavigne turns to a colleague in Gerard Chaumont de Latour (Raymond Gerome) who believes something is happening as word gets out and Marco becomes an unlikely popular figure who would cause a sensation around the world.

Demy’s direction does have elements of style in the way it plays up the growing commercialism over Marco’s condition. Shot on location in Paris, Demy’s direction is straightforward in terms of the compositions he creates as it is about Marco coming to terms with this condition with Irene wondering about his health as she is also thinking about expanding her business to give their son a better life. While there are some wide shots of some of the locations in Paris including this massive billboard poster of Marco wearing overalls to sell pregnancy clothes, Demy emphasizes more on close-ups and medium shots to play into the interaction with characters. Particularly in Marco’s own routines in the people he would meet at a bar as well as the idea that the chicken a maid has cooked for him, Irene, and Lucas as given hormone injections which is a possible reason why he’s pregnant.

Demy’s approach to comedy and light-drama does showcase the element of satire that is prevalent during the film’s second half. Notably with Marco dealing with the new role as he sorts of accepts it thinking it would create some kind of equality for men and women as he is supportive of the idea for the latter. The third act showcases Demy’s approach to sensationalism as it relates to similar cases that Marco is experiencing as if there is this phenomenon that is occurring that could change the world. Yet, it also play into this idea that Marco’s own experience isn’t unique anymore where Demy add to this melancholia that does appear every now and then with Irene dealing with idea of just being alone with her son as well as not being married. Overall, Demy crafts a playful yet compelling film about a man becoming pregnant.

Cinematographer Andreas Winding does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as it is straightforward for many of the daytime interior/exterior scenes with some lighting for some of the scenes at night as well as a few rooms in the film. Editor Anne-Marie Cotret does terrific work with the editing as it is straightforward to play into the humor with a few montages and rhythmic cuts to play into its humor. Production designer Bernard Evein does amazing work with the look of the offices of the doctors and professors as well as the interiors of Irene’s salon and the ads that were created. Costume designer Gitt Magrini does fantastic work with the costumes with the stylish clothes that Irene wears as well as the clothes that Marco would wear during the course of his pregnancy. The film’s music by Michel Legrand is brilliant for its sumptuous orchestral score that play into humor and light-drama as well as string arrangements that are upbeat.

The film’s remarkable cast include some notable small roles from Mirielle Mathieu as herself, Benjamin Legrand as Marco and Irene’s son Lucas, Marisa Pavan as Marco’s ex-wife, Alice Sapritch as a famed theatre actress in Ramona Martinez who wants driving lessons from Marco, Claude Melki as Marco’s business partner, Micheline Dax as an old lady Marco is trying to teach, Raymond Gerome as the medical professor Gerard Chaumont de Latour who believes a medical breakthrough is happening, and Micheline Presle as Irene’s friend Dr. Delavigne who would be the first to examine Marco and make the discovery that he’s pregnant.

Catherine Deneuve is incredible as Irene as a hairstylist who runs a salon that is dealing with the news as she is someone who gets emotional in the idea of Marco becoming ill while dealing with the impact it would have for both herself and Marco. Finally, there’s Marcello Mastroianni in a tremendous performance as Marco Mazetti as an Italian driving instructor living in Paris who copes with this condition he’s having where he deals with what is happening to him and later accepting the role he’s given where it’s a performance that has Mastroianni be charming but also display some humility.

L’Evenement le plus important depuis l’homme sur la Lune is a marvelous film from Jacques Demy that features top-notch performances from Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. Along with its gorgeous visuals, great supporting cast, and its witty take on sensationalism and commercialism on a man’s plight. It’s a film that play into the idea of a man becoming pregnant while thinking about the possibilities in how it would change humanity and society in a humorous manner. In the end, L’Evenement le plus important depuis l’homme sur la Lune is an incredible film from Jacques Demy.

Jacques Demy Films: (Lola (1961 film)) - Bay of Angels - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - The Young Girls of Rochefort - Model Shop - Donkey Skin - (The Pied Piper (1972 film)) - (Lady Oscar) - (La Naissance du Jour) – Un chambre en ville - (Parking (1985 film)) - (Three Places for the 26th) - (Turning Table)

© thevoid99 2018

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