dependent but addicted to life


Born to Be Wild, born to be wild. On his Harley Davidson, Michel alias François Créton seems to have escaped fromEasy rider (1969), by Dennis Hopper, for a journey of which only he seems to know the destination. But the fifties with the emaciated face is not used to the great outdoors. He has several sons: first of all years of alcohol and drug addiction, which have worn him out and emaciated, and from which he is trying to get rid of painfully; then a baby he has to take care of when he is unemployed and separated from his mother (Clotilde Courau).

It is almost too much for a fiction, but such is not the ground of the Heroics : the screenplay for Maxime Roy’s first feature film, born in 1988, is directly inspired by the life of its main actor, François Créton. And as we know, reality often goes beyond fiction.

The father, the son and the baby

At the beginning of this cinematographic adventure, between the young director and the former junkie, there was a meeting and a friendship, then a sparkling short film, Beautiful Loser (2018). The actor’s skin-deep sensitivity fills the screen, from his raw testimony to Alcoholics Anonymous to his squalid accommodation in a damp cellar, where the stroller struggles to find a place. The film had a successful festival career (Premiers Plans d’Angers …) and was awarded twice at the Clermont-Ferrand short film festival, in 2019 – with the prize for the best work of fiction and the interpretation prize for François Creton. Beautiful Loser shed a harsh light on Michel’s life, torn between his desire to do well and his difficulty in assuming his responsibilities – he has another son Léo (Roméo Créton), a gentle and rebellious twenties, who accompanies him in his galleys. A funny team that this trio, the father, the son and the baby.

The Heroics avoids the trap of the film of “big mouths” – as François Créton and Richard Bohringer can be – and delicately brushes the links that bind souls in pain

The feature film broadens the narrative, revealing the relatives who inhabit Michel’s life. First, there is his father (played by Richard Bohringer), with a painful past and at the end of his life, whom it is assumed that he was not a model for his son. This one will try to be reconciled with this man from whom he had moved away, and to accompany him in his last moments, in his own way, very particular. The image then takes precedence over the dialogues, almost non-existent. It is the strength of the film, to privilege the silence and to suggest the things by the faces, the decoration, the routes.

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