Reviews: Review of “Rien à foutre” (“Zero Fucks Given”), by Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre, with Adèle Exarchopoulos (MUBI)

Winner of the GAN award from the Critics’ Week parallel section of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, the debut feature by the French duo Marre-Lecoustre emerges as an intelligent portrait of the experiences of a stewardess played by the notable protagonist of The life of Adele.

Rien à foutre / Zero Fucks Given (Belgium-France/2021). Direction and script: Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre. Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Alexandre Perrier and Mara Taquin. Photography: Olivier Boonjing. Editing: Nicolas Rumpl. Duration: 110 minutes. Available on MUBI from Friday, March 24.

Cassandre (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is 26 years old and is a cabin crew member at a low cost airline. Her days are basically traveling and meeting new people and places. But her dream – hers and that of millions – has the other side of her in loneliness and tedium. Melancholic and sad as the protagonist of her, Rien a foutre investigates the internal universe of that woman, while her life approaches a crossroads and she must face unresolved situations with her family.

The directors Julie Lecoustre and Emmanuel Marre build a film that works as the reverse of that millennial ideology that proclaims traveling as a solution to all problems. In a subtle way, and with full confidence in the remarkable work of an omnipresent Exarchopoulos – who, as in The life of Adele, seems to catch fire inside Rien a foutre It shows that it is not possible to enjoy an itinerant life without something that anchors it to the ground.

And that is Cassandre’s main problem: what a priori is an advantage for wandering –lack of commitments and responsibilities– becomes existential ballast. Even more so when a painful unresolved family loss appears in the plot. In this sense, the job helps to avoid, as shown by the instruction to put emotions aside while in the air.

Lecoustre and Marre make that intimacy, that detachment for the lasting and love for the ephemeral, a reflection on the complexities of modern relationships and the way in which desire can become elusive. Luck of coming of age aerial, Rien a foutre reserve the last scene for a situation filmed in the middle of the pandemic, with chinstraps and distance. A closing according to a film that among its songs talks about that strange sensation of feeling isolated even when there are thousands of people around.

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