In French with English subtitles, My Best Friend is another endearing collaboration between actor Daniel Auteil and director Patrice Leconte.
Even with Leconte contributing on the screenwriting end that may be less sure-handed than his work behind the camera, there's something thoughtful beyond the gentler mood that he incorporates with frugality and finesse.
Auteil's Francois deals with clients of antiques in Paris. Julie Galet plays his business associate Catherine who comments at his birthday party that everyone he knows is through work. They're not real friends. The way his daughter (Julie Durand) interacts with him seems rather nonchalant.
The premise, conceived in part by Leconte, hinges on Francois finding a closest chum to present to a skeptical Catherine. The detail on everyday life and to character is telling as one gets a fair look at the importance of professional and personal lifestyle. In today's hectic, high-tech environment it's hard to connect with those dearest to you, difficult to make a concerted effort with all those in your everyday circle.
Auteil fashions this flawed fellow with honesty and precision, knowing he should be more involved with his daughter's life. He comes across as a loner, much like Bruno (Dany Boon), his benevolent taxi driver, who could be his only friend. A nice comedic repartee comes between Auteil, so good in The Closet, and Boon, as Leconte lets the acting and mood confront isolationism in a timely, interesting way.
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