Based on a series of stories from American comic-book artist Adrian Tomine’s 2015 graphic novel collection Killing and Dying, Jacques Audiard’s Les Olympiades (Paris, 13th District) is a fresh and often humorous take on what you’d expect from a French black-and-white relationship movie.
It centres on the interlocking love lives of three millennials who struggle to forge genuine connections. Our trio of protagonists are beautifully played by newcomers Lucie Zhang and Makita Samba, as well as Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s breakout star Noémie Merlant.
They make the most of a screenplay by Céline Sciamma, Léa Mysius and Audiard, who deftly encapsulate the complexities of modern-day relationships without resulting to judgemental musings surrounding egocentric thirty-somethings whose perceptions of meaningful connections have been eroded by dating apps.
The film also avoids the clichés linked to Paris as the City of Love, and does a terrific job when it comes to filming the many sex scenes, all of which give us valuable insight into the characters and feel refreshingly relatable.
This may not be Audiard’s most profound film to date, but it is a sexy, evocative and immensely watchable romance that’s well worth your time.
Starts Apr 7
D: Jacques Audiard (France, 2021), with Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Noé- mie Merlant.