Comedy actor Bernard Campan tackles his sixth feature film as a director in wonderful minds, who also writes and stars, like the previous ones. But he has the elegance to announce it as “A film by Bernard Campan and Alexandre Jollien” because, indeed, the latter has collaborated on the script and also stars in the film, which is unusual if we take into account that it is a person of thirty-something who suffered from cerebral palsy from birth. Less common is the fact that Jollien has written a dozen books on philosophy and thought.
There are several resources of this comedy to get liked and make us smile: it is a story of friendship between opposing typesis set in the work of a funeral home, is structured as a transformative journey, a character suffers from a disability, naturally addresses taboos such as the sex of the excluded… The script and direction manage to adequately thread these elements, with the precise rhythm and a harmony with the viewer that does not falter throughout the footage.
In times of visibility of excluded minorities and people of unestablished identities, it is very timely a film like this that joins others with the same carefree and smiling spirit to address the place in our society (at work, social relations, family spheres, etc.) of people with a disability. The forced foot is an accidental meeting – literally – between Louis, a somewhat lonely man who runs a funeral home, and Igor, the young man with cerebral palsy who works as a delivery boy for an organic food store. This meeting takes them on a trip between Lausanne and Montpellier in a hearse, with an occupied coffin included, which helps Louis get rid of the prejudices we all have, Igor takes a vacation from his controlling mother and a good friendship arises between the two. .
The quotes from Plato and other philosophers that Igor unravels and applies with absolute relevance in everyday life situations help to eliminate our prejudices towards people with cerebral palsy, as well as the reproach that the character makes towards his mother for having admitted him to a center of special education. Pero Igor also captivates us because he is a good persona patient and cheerful man in his work, always willing to overcome difficulties without complaints or overdramatization.
In my judgement the most successful of wonderful minds it’s your tone and treatment; story and characters ran the risk of didacticism, “goodness” and a mood of “TV movie” more or less rigged. But it avoids that risk well and although its construction is like a small film, not at all ambitious, it manages to move us without tenderness, making us have a good time with moments of humor and even rethinking the loneliness and isolation of people like Igor (sequence with a prostitute).
wonderful minds (Bernard Campan, 2021) ⭐️⭐️⭐️