The Past Haunting the Present in This Cinematic Journey
The Other Laurens (L'autre Laurens)
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 57m
Director(s): Claude Schmitz
Writer(s): Claude Schmitz, Kostia Testut
Cast: Olivier Rabourdin, Louise Leroy, Kate Moran, Marc Barbé, Tibo Vandenborre, Edwin Gaffney, Patrice Pays, Nico Pouzen, David Vankovenberghe, Sara Miquel, Rodolphe Burger, Francis Soetens
Language: French with English subtitles
Where To Watch: premiering May 22 at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
RAVING REVIEW: THE OTHER LAURENS see director Claude Schmitz hanging up their theatre roots to don the director's chair; Schmitz serves up an impeccable ride that engulfs you in its rich narrative and will make you feel as though you’re part of this thrilling experience.
At the core, Gabriel Laurens, as played by Olivier Rabourdin, plays a private eye; Gabriel's world gets turned upside down when his niece, Jade, reaches out to him to unravel the circumstances surrounding her father's demise. Rabourdin’s performance is taken to the next level as the film's twist is expanded.
Schmitz's foray into film with THE OTHER LAURENS is a mix of genres, blending romance, comedy, and action into a cinematic experience that takes a unique skill set to mix. Schmitz isn't just rewriting the rules of filmmaking - he's crafting a cinematic constitution. The film shines the most when the ghosts of the past are unearthed, exploring the history of these characters and how they are coping with the hurdles of the present day. Exploring the past while maintaining the present day's reality is one of the film's most vital abilities.
The film's cast was solid throughout, with Louise Leroy, playing Jade, delivering a performance of a seasoned veteran. Her blend of youthful wisdom and concrete delivery complements Rabourdin's character perfectly. Real-life members of the biker group MC Bushido add a raw piece of authenticity to the ensemble you can’t get from an actor's performance.
Adding a piece of personal experience into the film, Schmitz takes us back to the world-shattering event of 9/11 within THE OTHER LAURENS. This catastrophic incident caused him to reexamine his prior rose-colored views of the American Dream, subtly weaving this contemplation into the film's narrative.
Schmitz takes us to a near-mystical location close to Perpignan on the Spanish border within THE OTHER LAURENS. This choice reverberates the American-European dichotomy that resonates throughout the film. Delving deeper, the symbolism etched within the film is just as riveting as the plot. THE OTHER LAURENS is an explosion of cinematic creativity. Schmitz isn't merely toeing the line; he's propelling cinema beyond its borders.
We peek into Schmitz's impressive history; born in 1979 and an alumnus of the prestigious Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle (INSAS), Schmitz has shown his work on global platforms. His results demonstrate the commitment to unearthing new thematic landscapes and challenging conventional narratives.
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[photo courtesy of THE PR FACTORY/WRONG MEN]