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Critical / “In full fire” (2023) by Quentin Reynaud


In full fire is Quentin Reynaud’s third film. The director sends his favorite actor right in the middle of the flames: Alex Lutz. The film was released in cinemas on March 8, 2023. Criticism and the opinion of Bulles de Culture.


A giant fire ravages the Landes forest. Following an evacuation alert, Simon (Alex Lutz) and his father Joseph (Andre Dussollier) leave their homes but quickly find themselves prisoners of their vehicle in the middle of this climatic nightmare. The blaze is getting closer. What to do ? Waiting for help…? Or will they not find a way out of this by going even deeper into the terrifying immensity of the burning forest?

In full fire: between survival and poem

Quentin Reynaud delivers here his third film after Paris Willouby And 5th set. Like other atypical filmmakers, such as Guillaume Niclouxthe director begins to reveal a heterogeneous filmography.

After the family dramatic comedy, then the sports drama, the Bordelais decided to embark, with En plein feu, on the psychological genre film. The only common denominator to his various achievements: Alex Lutzmore than a favorite actor, a real muse for the director who is visibly looking for loyalty in his collaborations.

The latter had a form of premonition while filming in the Landes, in the heart of summer 2021, a story about forest fires: a year later, the place would be the prey of terrible fires. En plein feu is actually built in two parts. The first uses the codes of the disaster film. The two protagonists are trapped by the flames. The plot takes place in the agonizing camera of the passenger compartment of their car, the camera filming their terrified faces in close-up.

ON FIRE review 2023 movie review 2

In the second, the imminent threat of death recedes to make way for the protagonist to wander in an apocalyptic universe. The field of the camera then widens, and the phantasmagorical image casts doubt on what is reality or a dream.

Generally, In full fire is therefore an astonishing proposition, signed by a director who seems inspired by American genre films, in particular the survival The road (John Hillcoat). If the tension is present, however, we may regret the “real time” aspect of the narration, which causes a loss of rhythm. But the two main actors benefit from venturing outside their usual registers – in particular Andre Dussollierhere in full energy boost.

Our opinion ?

Quentin Reynaud is where you least expect it – the director surprises by embarking on a genre film that effectively mixes disaster scenario and psychological survival. In full fire puts the spectator in tension, despite some problems of rhythm.

Learn more:

  • Release date France: 03/10/2023
  • Distribution France: Apollo Movies

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