Beau Monde‘, what a misleading title! But it is precisely this irony Hans Vannetelbosch uses in the title that makes his project even more… mouth-watering. The recipe is as simple in appearance as “spicy” in essence: a chic restaurant, a stiff and demanding boss, a chef with the vanity of an artist, some clients from the high class. And among all this, a lot of harsh or tender biographical details, secrets and social camouflage that will eventually erupt loudly. The short film becomes a micro “comédie humaine” that fragmentarily captures an evening in which several destinies intersect, but without falling into a cynicism specific to a virulent social critique. On the contrary, the gaze of the director who scrutinizes these small destinies caught in the rather mundane everyday social net oscillates between detachment and tenderness, offering viewers the pretexts of some much broader stories. We would think that the drastic essentialization of all these narrative nuclei and domestic conflicts would betray an uncertainty on the part of the filmmaker. But the silences and gaps that intervene in the evolution of the characters are so eloquent and so well interpreted by the actors that they manage to materialize a coherent and complex project that convincingly illustrates a brief look at human nature captive in the social jungle.

 

Between moments of tense silence and episodes of hysterical realism, Hans Vannetelbosch’s project explores in an alert style, like in a ping-pong game of frames and details, the contact between two distinct social classes. However, the director does not fall into the trap of a moralizing tone, his short film being, in fact, an equidistant panorama of individuals whose lives are composed of moments of joy and despair. At the end of this foray into the unadorned daily life of a world that fights more or less silently with its own demons, the viewer will fully feel the painful authenticity of this short film. ‘Beau Monde’ is, indeed, a project as “chaotic” as it is structured and well-run by a professional, talented director who has definitely charmed us.

 

For the authenticity with which it depicts the small, great joys and riots of the social jungle, and for the force with which the director essentializes a series of convincing portraits in a professionally constructed cinematic narrative, ‘Beau Monde’ was awarded the Film of the Month distinction in the January 2022 edition of TMFF.

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