A real success machine in France, Dany Boon signs, for his seventh film, his first collaboration with the Netflix platform. With “8 Rue de l’Humanité”, the actor and director reenacts confinement in a choral comedy.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
The streets of Paris are empty and silent. While some preferred to flee the capital, seven families remained confined in a building from 11th to 8 rue de l’Homme with, among others; a bistro owner who is looking for a way to stay open. An ambitious scientist who wants to find the vaccine and never worry about urinalysis again. A hypochondriac in panic but happy to be right at last, his lawyer wife who fights to reconcile professional and family life, an online sports coach who gets bigger over the weeks, his pregnant fiancee who makes the buzz by becoming an anti singer. Covid, a rich self-made man desperate not to have the school level of his 8-year-old son … and two children of 8 and 10 who, thanks to confinement, will fall in love.
8 Rue de l’Humanité, directed by Dany Boon, written by Dany boon and Laurence Arné.
Available on Netflix
WHO IS IT WITH?
To give him the answer on the screen, Dany Boon – present in front of and behind the camera therefore – surrounds himself with Laurence Arné, who plays his companion. This is the third time that the two performers have performed together after Stingy! and The Ch’tite Family. In the role of the megalomaniac and infrequent neighbor, François Damiens, who is no longer presented, embodies a character that the public will love to hate. Alison Wheeler (Strong, Anna) and Tom Leeb (Edmond, Plan B) play, meanwhile, a young couple adept at social networks, living on the top floor of the building.
Liliane Rovere (Ten percent) plays the manager of a bistro, while Yvan Attal (My stupid dog) lends his features to a wacky doctor whose office is located at the foot of the building. Comedian Nawell Madani plays a nurse in a more minor role, while Spanish actor Jorge Calvo (Bad education) plays the janitor’s husband.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
From its opening sequence, 8 Rue de l’Humanité takes spectators back over a year. Emmanuel Macron’s speech – “We are at war”- serves as an introduction and revives memories of the first confinement, while images of the deserted streets of the capital parade before our eyes. For his first film with Netflix, Dany Boon is inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic and tells the confined daily life of a handful of characters all living in the same building.
The characters of each suggest that community life promises to be chaotic, but to get through this exceptional situation, we must ignore the differences. This is the message sent by Dany Boon who, here, moves away a little from the comedy to leave room for more emotions. 8 Rue de l’Humanité does not lack funny sequences, but places more the themes of solidarity and openness towards the other at the center of the story.
Dany Boon offers a humanist fable, of great naivety for sure, but he does not hide it. The comedy will undoubtedly seduce its followers, but it is clear that the film comes a little late. After several months spent in confinement, it is difficult to take a full interest in the compartmentalized life of his very cartoonish characters – like that of François Damiens – and written without great finesse.
The cast assembled by Dany Boon is good and offers some good moments, especially on the side of Alison Wheeler and Tom Leeb. The duo play future parents who enter a competition for popularity on social media. He is addicted to fitness, she is desperately trying to break into music and everything, very anchored in the news, works quite well. Despite a film far too long – nearly 2 hours – and a somewhat tearful finale, Dany Boon still has the elegance to pay tribute to the victims of the pandemic. A welcome gesture.