Last Dance (2022)

September 21st, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir/Wri: Delphine Lehericey | Cast: Francois Berleand, Kacey Mottet Klein, Deborah Lukumuena, Dominique Reymond, Astrid Whettnall, Sabine Timoteo, Jean-Benoit Uguez | Comedy, 90′

A delightfully bittersweet Swiss Belgian comedy drama starring Francois Berleand as a po-faced widower coping with the loss of his wife and the unwanted intrusion of his well-meaning loved ones.

Last Dance mulls over familiar territory when it comes to bereavement: and for 75-year-old Germain the grief is sudden and heartfelt. But he hardly has time to recover when the constant intrusive ‘phone calls to check on his well-being begin. And these are mostly to relieve the callers’ anxiety rather than for any sense of neighbourly care. Then there’s the stream of well-intentioned but unsolicited cakes, pies and casseroles (which Germain duly feeds to the cat.) Family visits never seem to stop – or end – and he wonders why his kids are unable to stick to their individual weekly visiting rota that he could really do without (Carole is Tuesday, Matthieu, Friday – or was it the other way round).

Lise (Reymond), his much loved wife of 50 years, was heavily into volunteering and experimental dance in a troupe led by the domineering choreographer ‘La Ribot’ (Lukumuena) and Samar (Mottet Klein).  In a bid to show willing, Germain feels obliged to take Lise’s place enacting a series of avant-garde movements that feel entirely awkward, causing him to break his bedside lamp rehearsing in the privacy of his bedroom. But he puts his foot down to the idea of taking on a mentorship for a young student, until his daughter insists it will be good for his ‘mental health’. So student and mentor eventually come to a ‘win win’ situation that suits both of them – but will anyone actually benefit from their arrangement?.

Delphine Lehericey directs her witty insightful script with great confidence and dexterity and the performances all round are really spot on. There are some laughs to be had too in this deadpan tongue-in-cheek story about a man who resolutely refuses to mourn, in the conventional sense, after a lifetime of happiness with his lost love. MT


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