Review: Marvin ou la belle éducation – Anne Fontaine

Marvin ou la belle éducation is Anne Fontaine’s failed adaptation of Edouard Louis’ brilliant novel

A great starting point for a good film is having a good story to tell. Edouard Louis had a fantastic story to tell. He wrote a social novel called En Finir Avec Eddy Belleguele based on his upbringing in a town in Picardie, northern France. It portrayed a vicious cycle of life where unemployment, abuse, alcoholism and poverty reign. It was an international bestseller.

Anne Fontaine adapted this novel in Marvin ou la Belle Education. Eddy Belleguele is now Marvin Bijou, a little boy from the provinces who is bullied at school and picked on by his family. He’s different. Eventually he runs away from his town to do theatre. The story picks up from where the book left off.

Fontaine uses artistic license to imagine his future but she missed the target so badly that it is a tragedy. It’s no wonder that Louis refused to have anything to do with the project.

It stars Finnegan Oldfield as Marvin, Grégory Gadebois, who portrays his father, and Jules Porier as the young Marvin. Isabelle Huppert stars as herself.

Really? Isabelle Huppert playing Isabelle Huppert? In this film? Does the CNC have a rule that says she has to be in every French film? She is the wrong actress in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s a sickly-sweet cliched drama. Fontaine wants to show the power of education as a form of redemption. Nothing wrong with that. Just don’t base it on Louis’ brilliant book.

Everton Gayle

Related articles Dans cette adaptation camouflée d’En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, Anne Fontaine se vautre dans l’anecdote et l’outrance. Full article