i have been loosely following julie delpy‘s career and i am glad to tell you that this film she directed is so good that you should make an evening of it with your friends and family.
le skylab depicts a family weekend reunion in bretagne for the celebration of the matriarch’s birthday. they are loud, talkative and they all hug and kiss each other. the very varied types of people paint a pretty complete picture of the end of the 70’s in france: feminists, former soldiers, leftists, etc.
they do all the things you’d expect: have a cous cous of freshly slaughtered lamb and pastis, play football and petanque, go to the beach and tell stories.
the atmosphere is balanced: there is constant needling and fighting, but there’s also a lot of kissing and i love you’s. there is a wonderfully non-dramatic scene where a rather senile old man (played by delpy’s real life dad, albert) attempts to kill himself and is convinced to give up by the kids who tell him they love him (seemingly based on julie’s own uncle’s attempt).
the film is hugely endearing and even the smallest of characters are likable and fully-formed. there is subtlety and infinite attention paid to details and it shows: the film says a lot but it never feels forced. i liked that julie used autobiographical details and that she appeared in a secondary role, au naturel.
she nailed it: it’s a very human film with great dialogue, amazing cast and very little to complain about. i laughed, i smiled and i cried. she made me love the clan!
and now i must check out her other films: one can never have enough good films!
photo and video credits: le skylab