Sitges 2022 Review: INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE, Hilarious and Ridiculous, Signature Dupieux

Editor, Canada; Montréal, Canada (@bonnequin)
Sitges 2022 Review: INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE, Hilarious and Ridiculous, Signature Dupieux

French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux might be one of the most prolific filmmakers of our time, and he's also one of the strangest. From sentient, killer tires to jackets that drive people to madness to giant flies, he finds a completely absurd situation, and puts normal people in it to see what havoc it wreaks. Incredible but True is not exception, and is perhaps more poignant in that exploration that many of his previous films. Aging, virility, and how we are seen by others in the face of that aging and virility perhaps will strike a little closer to home for much of the audience.

Alain (Alain Chabot) and Marie (Léa Drucker) are an ordinary middle-aged couple looking to buy a home to spend the second half of their child-free lives, when they are shown one that should be out of their price range. It's certainly far larger than they need for just two of them, but the estate agent shows them the pièce de résistance: a strange duct in the basement leads down to this house, 12 years ahead. Not only that, but anyone who takes this trip becomes younger by three days.

A real estate bargain is still a bargain, and they buy the home. Alain seems the duct as a weird novelty and has little interest; Marie, however, becomes obsessed, and finds herself taking that trip more and more. Meanwhile, Alain's boss Gérard (Benoît Magimel) brings his young girlfriend over, and announces that he's had his penis removed and replaced with a mechanical one - and given that it was invented by a Japanese company, you can imagine how versitile this device is.

The absurdity of both of these situations lends itself well to the rapid-paced yet meandering dialogue; no one can confront these issues directly, and talking to each other seems less possible or even relevant for Marie and Gérard. Alain is trying to keep house and home together, since he's the only bread winner, and increasingly alone. Marie's frequent trips down the duct mean he's alone more and more, which is not the life with her that he had in mind. She's determined to look younger - but of course, three days isn't a lot, and if she wants to see those wrinkles disappear, it means essentially giving up their together.

No one would claim that aging is easy, and sure, it's tempting to see those gray hairs disappear. But even in the humour, there is sadness in Marie's decision, compouding as the cigarette she smokes right before she goes down the duct, as if she knows she's making a mistake. Alain doesn't know how, or can't bring himself, to ask her to stop, so he tries other methods, all of which end in absurd, hilarious failure. Aging is absurd, of course, and life is always absurd, more so perhaps for Alain, as he must find a way to age alone.

Even at a crisp 75 minutes, this film could have been trimmed a little, but Dupieux lets us enjoy the tale of these characters as their mistakes and desperation reach ridiculous heights, in the never-ending quest to keep that final knock on the door at bay. Incredible but True is perhaps a bit more wistful than the filmmakers previous work, but remains a funny adventure to the weird corners of Dupieux's endless imagination.

Incroyable mais vrai

  • Quentin Dupieux
  • Quentin Dupieux
  • Alain Chabat
  • Léa Drucker
  • Benoît Magimel
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Quentin DupieuxAlain ChabatLéa DruckerBenoît MagimelComedyDramaFantasy

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