“I have crazy dreams, last night I dreamed that you were dead. I was going to see you at the cemetery. When I arrived, your grave was open. There was a staircase, I was going down… There was a long sinister hallway with hands holding candlesticks. You know, like in the movie you showed me.”
We can say that Mila, the daughter of Élisabeth de Raincy, knows how to talk to her mother. You may be the daughter of the President of the Republic, but you are still a young woman with emerging neuroses – even already well established – with a list as long as your arm of reproaches to address to her parents. Or rather, in this case, to its parent.
The movie is called yesterday’s world, and will be in theaters on March 30. We discover the relationship between Mila, played by Luna Lou, and her mother, camped by a Léa Drucker to whom the decision-maker costume definitely suits her: in That’s life by Julien Rambaldi (2020), she recently camped a CEO of the CAC 40 capable of leading an imminent birth and a capital negotiation.
Diasteme, the director of the film, worked on the script with journalists Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, but also with his old friend Christophe Honoré. The catchphrase is elsewhere (what would you do if, at the head of France for five years, you learned that your successor will certainly be the far-right candidate?), but in no way prevents the filmmaker to explore side roads. And in particular to wonder about the impact that relatives can have on the presidential mandate – and vice versa.
“These people may live in castles, they have illnesses, children, things that bring them back to who they are, explains Diasteme in the film’s press kit. You have to deal with the problems of a country, but what do you do if your daughter has anxiety and can’t sleep? yesterday’s world is anxiety-provoking in more ways than one, and what he says about the private life of the president contributes to this deleterious climate. One can claim to be able to manage 67 million French women and men, but prove incapable of taking care of one’s own offspring as it should. Sad fact.
I have often wondered what could lead to wanting to run for president. The desire to save his country, no doubt. Or perhaps that of going down in history. Or to feel as powerful as possible. I never really understood what made the job so attractive. You still have to want to be constantly watched and jeered at by millions of people at once. But let’s admit. One chooses to present one’s candidacy, then to endorse the habit of president or president if the outcome is favourable.
But relatives? What do they think? How do they live it? Don’t they feel trapped in situations they didn’t choose? Very often, the films present this status as an absolute burden, an experience not to be wished on anyone. It must be said that the inconvenience is twofold. On the one hand, the person at the head of the state can only move away from the people she loves, at least for the duration of her mandate, bending under the weight of the task and the demands. On the other hand, the simple fact of belonging to his intimate circle makes you a special person, watched by law enforcement agencies as well as by the tabloids.
From Coluche to Jeff Tuche, French cinema fond of extraordinary presidential candidates
A veritable screed of lead which, in yesterday’s world, weighs on the shoulders of young Mila, just like on those of her father, played by Yannick Rénier. The pressure is perhaps even stronger in Niels Arestrup’s ponderous (and unique) film, The candidate, where Yvan Attal plays the last-minute candidate of a big party, almost forced to run after the announcement of the withdrawal of the official candidate for health reasons. Michel Dedieu, that’s his name, doesn’t feel quite in his place. But his wife Laura (Stefania Rocca) lives downright an ordeal.
It was during a post-debate dinner, given in the isolated residence serving as headquarters reserved for the happy few, that things got worse. Around Dedieu, communicators are trying to find the phrase that will hit the mark, the stroke of genius that could topple an election that got off to a bad start. But nothing comes. The atmosphere is heavy, not to say electric; the waiters are busy, bringing dishes that are too strict to be appetizing. Their omnipresence completes the deprivation of the assembly of any form of intimacy.
Present around the table, Laura Dedieu feels bad and then chooses to slip away. Later, in front of yet another flute of champagne, she verbalizes what crosses her mind: the unpleasant impression that everything is done to push her husband to sink into defeat. “It’s as if they didn’t want Michel to be elected […]. He will not recover, he does not know how to lose.
Concerned about the attitude and the state of his wife, Dedieu confides in one of his right arms: “I do not know. I do not understand. She never drinks. It’s like she resents everyone.” “She’s going to get used to it, she’s looking for her place… everything happened so quickly”replies the adviser. “I too am looking for my place”, concludes the candidate. Unwittingly, his wife helps to destabilize him a little more every day, when it is the opposite effect that she is looking for.
The wife and France
We do not improvise pretender to the post of first lady. To the fear that Michel Dedieu will be defeated and that he can’t stand it is added in Laura a very opposite anxiety: the panic fear that he might be elected and that each meal will more or less resemble the one she has just eaten. leave in the middle. Twenty-four or forty-eight hours later, here is the Dedieu couple posing in front of the lens of an Italian photographer, for a shot that we imagine intended for a weekly Paris Match type.
To which famous Blue correspond these kings of France or these presidents of the Republic?
Cliché, that’s the word: the man wants to immortalize Michel Dedieu working on a file, while Laura, standing behind him, has to pretend to lean tenderly towards the man she loves, this providential man which France is supposed to need so badly. The photographer’s instructions give Laura a nervous laugh that won’t go away. Interrupting the session, Michel Dedieu leads his wife into a hallway and ends up lecturing her: “I do not have time anymore. Leave me alone, let me work! Walk the streets naked, divorce, whatever! But let me work.”
The consequences of this monologue devoid of empathy and psychology are immediate. The hypothetical first lady does not just go up to her room, she ends up vanishing without warning. Let’s fight. What would happen if the press found out she ran away? If the main opponent of Michel Dedieu exploited this incident for electoral purposes? The security service is in all its states. Telephones, confiscated, are prohibited, except that of the candidate. Information should not leak out.
After a trip by car and a stop at the station to take the first train likely to take her away from the scene, Laura Dedieu ends up falling into line. To leave for real would be to hasten the defeat of her husband. We remember this sentence pronounced by Dominique de Villepin about Nicolas Sarkozy in 2006, and relayed among others by Catherine Nay in her book A power called desire: “A guy who can’t keep his wife can’t keep France.” A phrase of absolute class, but which most certainly reflects the state of mind of part of the French electorate. For the record, Villepin will in turn divorce in 2011.
In President, a clumsy political thriller although full of believable sequences, Albert Dupontel embodies an already well-established and apparently popular head of state, who must deal with the arrival in his circle of young Mathieu (Jérémie Rénier), new boyfriend of his daughter Nahéma (Mélanie Doutey). Obviously, Mathieu was followed by the intelligence services, and his life spent with a fine-toothed comb: a malicious mole should not infiltrate the Élysée.
At first glance, nothing to report, except for a rather admirable pedigree, described by an adviser: “Nice school career, scientific preparation for Henri-IV, vice-major of Polytechnique, the youngest graduate of his class. Prepare a thesis in econometrics. Nursing mother in the East, no political background. Provincial life, what. His father, on the other hand, was an activist. Anarchist limit. He took six months in prison following a demonstration that degenerated. Obviously he couldn’t stand it; he hanged himself in his cell.”
Suspense requires, we will not learn more at this stage, but besides the legacy of his father, Mathieu is not without gray areas. The important thing in Lionel Delplanque’s film, which dates from 2006, however, lies less in the sequel – riddled with more or less believable and catchy twists – than in this idea: to be part of the family, that we share the even without or not, obliges to lay bare. Without informed consent.
Jacques Chirac, cinematographic but not too much
But in President, the most unfortunate is called Nahéma: obviously, the daughter of this unnamed president does not have the right to a real private life. In his existence, politics is everywhere, especially since his godfather and confidant, the powerful Saint-Guillaume (Claude Rich, always exceptional), is also the number one adviser to the Head of State – Secretary General of the Élysée. , chief of staff, or simple man in the shadows, the contours are blurred.
One cannot help but think of Mazarine Pingeot, the long-hidden daughter of François Mitterrand, who was suddenly propelled to the front of the stage in spite of herself, and whose love stories were then exposed in public places. She was kept at a good distance from the Élysée because of her status, but nevertheless prevented from living her life as a young woman in complete peace of mind: this period of her existence appears to be very unenviable. Like what fiction conveys.