Fly Me Away (Envole-moi) is currently showing at the Alliance Française French Film Festival around Australia. It is a feel-good film adapted and produced by Christope Barratier, whose earliest work was the very popular documentary, Microcosmos released in 1996. Barratier was also writer and director of War of the Buttons, which screened at the AFFFF a few years ago.
In the opening scene, a drunk Thomas (Victor Belmondo) crashes his car through the garage and straight into his father’s pool. His laissez-faire, careless attitude is summed up by him saying “t’inquietes, on rangerait ca demain” (don’t worry we’ll fix it tomorrow) like it’s no big deal.
Fly Me Away sees irresponsible 30 something Thomas forced to spend his days with 12 year old chronically and severely ill, Marcus (Yoann Eloundou) or be cut off financially and kicked out of the house he shares with his father, Doctor Henri Reinhard (Gérard Lanvin).
Predictably, Thomas shows up late the first few times and forgets important information (like keeping Marcus’s oxygen tank with him at all times) but before long he is enriching young Marcus’ life and perhaps learning there’s more to life than drinking, clubbing and picking up a different girl every night. While they cross off Marcus’ bucket list, we begin to see Thomas isn’t entirely self-centred and has the capacity to think of others. That said, there were times when showering Marcus with gifts and experiences seemed a little like charity rather than genuine.
This was Yoann Eloundou’s first feature film role and he played it well. Unfortunately, Victor Belmondo, grandson of Jean-Paul Belmondo, in the role of Thomas, looked strained when he was meant to be appearing concerned. This is the first time I have seen him in a film and he certainly doesn’t appear to have his grandfather’s talent based on his performance in Fly Me Away. Gérard Lanvin was convincing as the frustrated father and concerned doctor. Marie-Sohna Condé was great in the role of Marcus’ concerned, sad mother.
Unfortunately, Fly Me Away was predictable and a bit clichéd. What had the potential to be a great film is instead an average one. Privileged/spoilt man meets an adult/child who is disabled/sick/underprivileged. It’s all be done before and unfortunately Barratier did not put a fresh spin on it. Fly Me Away is an easy watching, feel good film, which doesn’t require much thinking. It is punctuated with moments of comedy (particularly pranks played on the nosy neighbour), and is heart-warming, but is not the must-see film at the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2022.
Matilda Marseillaise was given access to a screener of this film for this review.
READ OUR REVIEWS OF OTHER FILMS AT THE ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL
KEY INFO FOR ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2022
WHAT: Alliance Française French Film Festival
WHERE AND WHEN:
- Adelaide: 24thMarch to 24th April (Encore screenings: 25th to 26th April)
- Brisbane: 16thMarch to 13th April (Encore screenings: 14th to 18th April)
- Byron Bay: 30thMarch to 14th April (Encore screenings: 15th to 16th April)
- Hobart: 9thto 20th March
- Canberra: 2nd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Melbourne: 3rd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Parramatta: 7thto 10th April
- Perth: 9th March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Sydney: 1stMarch to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
HOW: Discover the AFFFF 2022 programme here.