#REVIEW: “FRENCH EXIT”
By Mr. Will Wong
Patrick DeWitt adapts his darkly-comedic Novel FRENCH EXIT for the big screen and while it succeeds mostly, this really is a rich opportunity for screen legend Michelle Pfeiffer to strut her stuff and she is just mesmerizing.
The Film, directed by Azazel Jacobs, centers on a widow named Frances (Pfeiffer) who realizes that she is running out of money after having lived many years privileged, and decides to move to Paris with her son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) after selling everything off. Malcolm is in an on-again, off-again relationship with his Susan (Imogene Poots) and this bit of news forces them to confront their relationship status and did we mention that Frances‘ deceased husband (Tracey Letts) now is a cat? They meet Madeline (Danielle Macdonald), who helps Malcolm and Frances seek some closure by communicating with his spirit. With money dwindling, we begin to realize what Frances chooses Paris to continue this next chapter in her life.
Frances and her son Malcolm have a tight-knit relationship which often feels like he is filling the role of his deceased father. It’s Frances’ world and he’s just living in it, following her wherever she goes willingly. And despite their relationship being an unconventional one, their love for another is evident in all the dysfunction.
Pfeiffer has never been better and is delicious in her snide remarks and blatant disregard of others around her, but even at this stage her Frances’ life, she is able to take her through a journey and in all the cruelty there is a shimmer of kindness and sympathy in her and that’s where we’re drawn-in. Fashionable Frances is dignified, alluring, mysterious and we’re obsessed.
The Film’s switch to the supernatural, is a bit odd tonally, and loses some of the great momentum in its storytelling it builds prior to Frances and Malcolm‘s arrival in Paris, but when Pfeiffer really makes the entire experience a treat and we can’t forget her.
Elevation Pictures release FRENCH EXIT in theatres Friday, April 2, 2021.