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Review / “That Summer” (2022) by Eric Lartigau


This summer by Eric Lartigau has been available in cinemas since January 4, 2023. The film with Marina Foïs and Gaël Garcia Bernal is a chronicle of light youth against a backdrop of serious subjects. Criticism and opinion of Bulles de Culture.


Dune is 11 years old. Since always, every summer, she crosses France with her parents to spend the holidays in their old house in the Landes. There, Mathilde, 9 years old, is waiting for her. An unfailing friendship. But that summer will not be another summer. Last year, Dune and her parents didn’t come. We haven’t told her why, but she feels that something has changed. Her distant mother, the arguments between her parents, Mathilde who is slow to grow up, the heady smell of the pines, the sand which is no longer so soft, the ridiculous horror films, the loves of the local teenagers, everything puts Dunes on alert. She wants to understand, to know. That summer Dune will grow.

This summer : chronicle of a youth

With This summer, Eric Lartigau returns with his first post-covid film. After #I am the in 2019 and especially after the success of The Aries Familywhose Coda (Oscar for best film 2022) is the American adaptation, the director continues to evoke the family and the couple, recurring themes of his filmography, through the image of a graphic novel written by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.

The feature film follows the protagonist, in the pre-teen stage, dealing with the adult problems of her parents. Eric Lartigau evokes in a very sensory way this particular period of life when one feels out of step. Fortunately, the young girl can rely on her best friend of the same age, with whom she can ride her bike to explore her vacation spot. The film is moreover built around several images which constitute the visual diary of the young girl (the latter constantly having a camera in her hand to film her summer).

That Summer Rose Pou Pellicer, Juliette Havelange film photo review
© Magali Bragard/Trésor Films

Beyond a simple chronicle of youth, the feature film also shows the pain of a mother, faced with a miscarriage while she was expecting her second child. The occurrence of this, more widespread than we think, a subject that is still too taboo, leads to the establishment of a psychological mechanism that is similar to that of mourning. Marina Fois manages to transmit the suffering of his character, while maintaining a positive vitality. The place of the spouse in this process is also shown thanks to the very convincing performance of the Spanish actor, Gael Garcia Bernal. We must not forget to mention the young Rose Pou Pellicer of which it is the very promising first role in the cinema.

The weakness of This summer nevertheless comes from this very sensitive staging whose narrative rhythm is not consistent enough to avoid a few moments of boredom.

Our opinion ?

This summer is in the pure vein of the filmography ofEric Lartigau. Sensitive and sensory, the film tackles fascinating life topics. However, it lacks a sustained narrative rhythm.

Learn more:

  • Release date France: 04/01/2023
  • Distribution France: StudioCanal

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