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On this page: ADVENTURES OF FELIX | (more to come)

Back to the SHADOWS FILM FEST page last update 4.Dec.01

back to the top DROLE DE FELIX [The Adventures of Felix]
dir-scr Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
with Sami Bouajila, Patachou, Ariane Ascaride, Pierre-Loup Rajot, Charly Sergue, Maurice Benichou, Philippe Garziano, Didier Mahieu, Aliette Langolff-Colas, Arno Feffer, Clement Dupre, Clement Reverend
release US 15.Jun.01 (limited); St Louis Film Fest Nov.01
00/France 1h35 2 out of 5 stars
Bouajila on the roadREVIEW BY RICH CLINE
With a meandering, off-handed attitude, Ducastel and Martineau tell a simple tale of self-discovery as a young man crosses France north to south. We begin in Dieppe, where Felix (Bouajila) and his boyfriend (Rajot) are out of work and wondering how they'll fill their time in the summer. Felix decides to travel to Marseilles and find the father he never knew, so off he goes, hitchhiking across country. The film then shifts into an episodic examination of racism (Felix is half-Arab and gets entangled in a hate crime), coming of age (he befriends a lustful teen--Sergue), nostalgia (a surrogate grandmother--Patachou) and family (a woman--Ascaride--with three kids by three men). The breezy, springy tone keeps us watching, even when the story takes some very implausible turns. Bright cinematography and interesting music helps, as does a lively and interesting performance from Bouajila at the centre. The series of characters is intriguing and entertaining--and all very well played by a superior cast. And the film's everyday approach to HIV is refreshing and honest. But it all feels rather slight, which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't touching on such powerful themes of family and identity. By the end, we can smile as Felix finally discovers his true "family" even though it's rather trite and predictable, really. [15--adult themes, brief nudity and violence, language] 2.Dec.01 sliff
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2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall