Early One Morning, a banking executive reaches the end of his tether
by Fabien Lemercier
05/10/2011 - Resonating with current events and the severe crisis affecting financial institutions, Jean-Marc Moutout’s French/Belgian co-production Early One Morning [trailer] is being launched in French theatres today on a 101-print run by Les Films du Losange.
The director of Word Hard, Play Hard [trailer] and The Feelings Factory [trailer] has been drawn, since the start of his career, to economic and social issues looked at from the perspective of the cruelty of today’s world. Here he returns with the gripping portrayal of a competent and dedicated 50-year-old banking executive, who one fine morning murders the two managers of the new team.
Starring an outstanding Jean-Pierre Darroussin, alongside Valérie Dréville, Xavier Beauvois and Yanick Rénier, the film is inspired by a real-life incident that took place in 2004. Widely acclaimed by critics, it reconstructs in flashback the life of an ordinary man and the motives that led him to commit the irreparable.
Moutout explained: "What interested me was both the time that stands still between the murders and the suicide, and telling the story of a man who takes stock of his life from fragments which come back to him".
He continued: "It’s the story of an executive who, at 50 years old, is suddenly rejected by what he has built. The job where he has proved himself, the source of his fulfilment turns against him and he falls apart. And the violent denial of what he has been, he expresses this by wanting to see justice respected. As soon as his social status is taken away from him, and he is even harassed and humiliated, he can no longer withstand the functioning of his being and he goes into depression. One of the questions that the film asks is: why does one man go as far as committing murder and suicide, and not another? What makes us reach our tipping point? I can see the spiral, how he is in distress, how he feels his life is a failure, how he plunges downwards, how he becomes obsessed and drained, but his actions remain a mystery."
Julie Delpy’s Skylab [trailer], which won the Special Jury Prize at the recent San Sebastian Film Festival (see review and interview – Mars Distribution on 184 prints), is also hitting screens, bolstered by a positive response from the press.
Other noteworthy releases include Frederick Wiseman’s documentary Crazy Horse [trailer] (unveiled in Venice Days – see video interview – Sophie Dulac Distribution in 17 theatres); Eric Lavaine’s comedy Welcome Aboard [trailer] (Pathé Films in 609 cinemas); S.J. Clarkson’s UK film Toast [trailer] (UGC in 13 theatres); and Danish helmer Nicolas Winding Refn’s high-octane Drive, which won Best Director at the latest Cannes Film Festival (Wild Side Films/ Le Pacte).
(Translated from French)