‘The World Is Yours’ Vincent Cassel & Romain Gavras Riff On Fortnight Comedy – Cannes Studio

The Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival has provided some strong picks this year, including French heist comedy The World Is Yours which was rousingly received. The second feature from Romain Gavras (son of Costa-Gavras), who is be…

The Directors' Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival has provided some strong picks this year, including French heist comedy The World Is Yours which was rousingly received. The second feature from Romain Gavras (son of Costa-Gavras), who is best known for his music video work with such artists as MIA, Kanye West and Justice, stars Vincent Cassel who appeared in and produced his 2010 debut Our Day Will Come. The collaborators chatted with Deadline this week about…

Cannes Film Review: ‘The World Is Yours’

American audiences take the Tarantinification of genre cinema for granted, but not so the French, who adore the director (who won the Palme d’Or for “Pulp Fiction”) but never went so far as to imitate him outright, until now. Director Romain Gavras’ “T…

American audiences take the Tarantinification of genre cinema for granted, but not so the French, who adore the director (who won the Palme d’Or for “Pulp Fiction”) but never went so far as to imitate him outright, until now. Director Romain Gavras’ “The World Is Yours” is the long overdue, yet entirely unnecessary gangster movie […]

‘The World Is Yours’ Review: Romain Gavras’ Brilliant Caper Comedy Is the Anti-Scarface — Cannes 2018

This French heist comedy is the best movie that Guy Ritchie never made.

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Romain Gavras’ “The World Is Yours” might take its title from a certain gangster classic — or its blood-soaked Brian De Palma remake, which only made a life of crime seem that much cooler — but this wildly infectious French heist comedy is pretty much the anti-“Scarface.” A hyper-stylish and unexpectedly sweet rebuke to the idea that screwing people is a good way to get ahead, Gavras’ second feature manages the almost impossible task of mining something nice from the me-first mentality that’s been sweeping across modern Europe. It’s “Sexy Beast,” “Spring Breakers,” and “Little Miss Sunshine” all blended together and served with a lad-rock swagger; it’s the best movie that Guy Ritchie never made.

Whereas Tony Camonte (or Tony Montana) came to the game as a refugee looking to make a name for himself, François (Karim Leklou) was born into a dog-eat-dog underworld full of killers and cheats.. François’ mom, Dany, (the great Isabelle Adjani), is a pathological con artist and expert safecracker — a thief so consumed by her own self-interest that she pulls off a robbery by using her own son as an unwitting prop. François’s dad isn’t in the picture anymore, but a conspiracy theorist named Henri (a hilarious Vincent Cassel) is happy to play the part, if only because he has a huge crush on Dany.

But sometimes the apple does fall a bit far away from the tree. Hardly the kind of intimidating badass who might command respect (or inspire fear) from a community of lowlifes and mobsters, François is pudgy and polite. His mom insists that he needs to cheat others before they cheat him, but our boy isn’t down for that. “I’m not out to fuck anyone,” he meekly replies. François isn’t cut out for the cutthroat stuff — while others lust for power and sway, all he wants is a shitty house with a pool outside and someone to share it with him. Ideally, that someone would be Lamya (“Divines” star Oulaya Amamra), a spunky Muslim femme fatale who often seems to be channeling Jennifer Love Hewitt’s performance from “Heartbreakers” (a huge compliment, of course).

No idle dreamer, François has a plan: He’s going to become the CEO of a small frozen soft-drink company that operates out of North Africa … or something. The specifics aren’t important — all that matters is that his mom has gambled away the €100,000 he needs to close the deal, and so now he’s gotta do one last heroin-trafficking job for a dog-loving sociopath named Putin.

And he’s gonna need a team. So François sets off to the coast of Spain, bringing along Henri, Lamya, and two gung-ho kids named Mohamed. It all goes wonderfully haywire from there, as “The World Is Yours” somehow comes to involve a Scottish drug lord, his tormented young daughter, a Jewish lawyer, a group of 20 bleached-blond Zairian guys, a karaoke singalong of Toto’s “Africa,” and a live grenade in a Hello Kitty backpack. This strange potpourri is strung together on the strength of André Chémétoff’s glossy cinematography and a bouncy score by Jamie XX and Sebastian (fans of the former will recognize many of the stickiest beats).

“The World Is Yours”

The sillier things gets, the more Gavras engages with the political and social realities of a divided Europe. Racism is a constant (most of it levied against the Muslim community), but “The World Is Yours” dares to roll with it, eventually even using it as a weapon against the most prejudiced characters — an immensely satisfying boat raid sequence finds some idiot fishermen mistaking the two Mohameds for wayward migrants, thus opening themselves up to attack. Another killer scene finds our heroes repurposing common stereotypes in order to con the police into helping them out. Friendships are continually forged across national identities and racial lines, as François’ inclusive approach is predicated upon liberating people from whatever oppressive worldview they’ve inhabited from their parents. This stuff is seldom in the foreground, but it’s always sharp as Gavras’ film giddily dances through dangerous material.

It helps that every single one of the performances is extraordinary. Amamra is tough but charming, Leklou is as soft as he needs to be but never a sop, and Cassel delivers a belly laugh with virtually every line (if this were an English-language A24 movie, “We’re all the Illuminati, now” would be on t-shirts tomorrow). The supporting characters are just as strong, each cast to perfection. And Gavras, to his ultimate credit, makes sure that they all get their moments to shine — though nothing tops a late couplet of dream sequences involving the two Mohameds’ respective visions of the future.

As frantic and thrilling as the climactic heist turns out to be, there’s still a sense that Gavras left a little meat on the bone — that he could have done a bit more to flesh out everyone’s fortunes. But “The World Is Yours” is such an intoxicating delight because it still manages to make you care. We’re moved by François’ kindness and the gentle modesty of his dreams. We’re moved by the fact that he actually wants to share them. In crime, as in life, the only way to win is to make sure that everyone gets a cut of the action.

Grade: A-

“The World Is Yours” premiered in the Director’s Fortnight of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution. 

‘The World Is Yours’ Film Review: Romain Gavras’ Pop Comedy Is an Absolute Blast

You can bet that every scheming lowlife who populates the kitsch landscape of “The World Is Yours” knows and recognizes that title’s allusion to Brian De Palma’s “Scarface.” And you can be be just as sure that not one of them has ever been able to sit still and concentrate long enough to make it through that — or any — three-hour film.

Music video director Romain Gavras’ breezy pop comedy, however, might be more their speed — but then, the film is designed to be everyone’s speed.

With his latest feature, the Kanye West, Jay-Z and M.I.A. collaborator has set out to conquer the world, or at least the French box office. With “The World Is Yours,” he delivered a crowd-pleasing caper that drew hurls of laughter and sustained applause at its world premiere as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar on Saturday.

Also Read: Marion Cotillard’s Careless Motherhood Hurts in ‘Angel Face’

As if the John Landis cameo didn’t give it away, the film tries to be a “Blues Brothers”-like jaunt for a generation raised on Adderall and French hip hop, but its sharp edge and endearing cast will have little difficulty winning over audiences unfamiliar with acts like MC Solaar, as well.

Doughy mama’s boy François (Karim Leklou) has one dream in life: to buy the North African distribution rights to the Mr. Freeze brand of ice pops and work his way out of the projects, one summery treat at a time. Things are going his way until his con-artist mom Danny (Isabelle Adjani) gambles away the entire nest egg, forcing the good-hearted if otherwise inept crook to accept an ill-conceived drug-buying mission in Spain.

Already saddled with a harebrained scheme, Francois certainly doesn’t help matters by assembling a motley band of knuckleheads, all of them more inept and significantly less trustworthy than he.

Also Read: Cannes Report, Day 4: Sales Market Heats Up, ‘355’ Sparks Bidding War, Jean-Luc Godard Is Back

While Lamya (Oulaya Amamra, star of the 2016 Caméra d’Or winner “Divines”) takes the money and runs every chance she gets, Henry (Vincent Cassel, hilariously playing against type as a potbellied goon) is really only good for conspiracy theories and little else. Throw in a pair of dimwitted thugs and a louche Belgian snowbird and you have all the makings for disaster — which is exactly what happens when Francois’ drug supplier stiffs them and Danny sweeps in to kidnap the man’s daughter.

Gavras keeps these many plates spinning with admirable dexterity, relying on his polished commercial background to keep things moving at an appealingly propulsive clip. Many sequences play like full-on music videos, like a tense hotel room break-in set to the song “Atlas” by the group Battles, or a kitschtastic karaoke rendition of Toto’s “Africa” at a tense, pivotal moment.

The director and his crew have an absolute blast detailing the garish neon wonderland of the seaside resort town where most of the action takes place.

That the cast is predominantly Arab-French and of a not-particularly-affluent social class is neither the main focus of the film nor wholly elided. Instead, Gavras and co-screenwriters Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré treat their characters’ backgrounds as a simply fact of life, letting their anxieties and experiences affect the madcap action onscreen, but not guide it.

In that sense, the broad comedy treats class and culture with an impressive sophistication. Think of it as “Pain & Gain” meets “La Haine,” played for laughs and box office.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Cate Blanchett Calls for ‘Parity and Transparency’ in Red Carpet Protest of Gender Inequity in Cannes

‘Girl’ Film Review: Transgender Teen Drama Is a True Cannes Discovery

Cannes Confirms ‘Don Quixote’ for Closing Night, Praises Court Win: ‘Cinema Has Regained Its Rights’

You can bet that every scheming lowlife who populates the kitsch landscape of “The World Is Yours” knows and recognizes that title’s allusion to Brian De Palma’s “Scarface.” And you can be be just as sure that not one of them has ever been able to sit still and concentrate long enough to make it through that — or any — three-hour film.

Music video director Romain Gavras’ breezy pop comedy, however, might be more their speed — but then, the film is designed to be everyone’s speed.

With his latest feature, the Kanye West, Jay-Z and M.I.A. collaborator has set out to conquer the world, or at least the French box office. With “The World Is Yours,” he delivered a crowd-pleasing caper that drew hurls of laughter and sustained applause at its world premiere as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar on Saturday.

As if the John Landis cameo didn’t give it away, the film tries to be a “Blues Brothers”-like jaunt for a generation raised on Adderall and French hip hop, but its sharp edge and endearing cast will have little difficulty winning over audiences unfamiliar with acts like MC Solaar, as well.

Doughy mama’s boy François (Karim Leklou) has one dream in life: to buy the North African distribution rights to the Mr. Freeze brand of ice pops and work his way out of the projects, one summery treat at a time. Things are going his way until his con-artist mom Danny (Isabelle Adjani) gambles away the entire nest egg, forcing the good-hearted if otherwise inept crook to accept an ill-conceived drug-buying mission in Spain.

Already saddled with a harebrained scheme, Francois certainly doesn’t help matters by assembling a motley band of knuckleheads, all of them more inept and significantly less trustworthy than he.

While Lamya (Oulaya Amamra, star of the 2016 Caméra d’Or winner “Divines”) takes the money and runs every chance she gets, Henry (Vincent Cassel, hilariously playing against type as a potbellied goon) is really only good for conspiracy theories and little else. Throw in a pair of dimwitted thugs and a louche Belgian snowbird and you have all the makings for disaster — which is exactly what happens when Francois’ drug supplier stiffs them and Danny sweeps in to kidnap the man’s daughter.

Gavras keeps these many plates spinning with admirable dexterity, relying on his polished commercial background to keep things moving at an appealingly propulsive clip. Many sequences play like full-on music videos, like a tense hotel room break-in set to the song “Atlas” by the group Battles, or a kitschtastic karaoke rendition of Toto’s “Africa” at a tense, pivotal moment.

The director and his crew have an absolute blast detailing the garish neon wonderland of the seaside resort town where most of the action takes place.

That the cast is predominantly Arab-French and of a not-particularly-affluent social class is neither the main focus of the film nor wholly elided. Instead, Gavras and co-screenwriters Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré treat their characters’ backgrounds as a simply fact of life, letting their anxieties and experiences affect the madcap action onscreen, but not guide it.

In that sense, the broad comedy treats class and culture with an impressive sophistication. Think of it as “Pain & Gain” meets “La Haine,” played for laughs and box office.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Cate Blanchett Calls for 'Parity and Transparency' in Red Carpet Protest of Gender Inequity in Cannes

'Girl' Film Review: Transgender Teen Drama Is a True Cannes Discovery

Cannes Confirms 'Don Quixote' for Closing Night, Praises Court Win: 'Cinema Has Regained Its Rights'

New Faces of French Cinema Making Waves at Cannes

UniFrance hosts talks 9:30 a.m. May 13 with New Faces of French Cinema at the UniFrance Terrace. Leïla Bekhti “Sink or Swim” After debuting with supporting roles in such films as the gonzo-horror pic “Sheitan” and offering the sole female presence in m…

UniFrance hosts talks 9:30 a.m. May 13 with New Faces of French Cinema at the UniFrance Terrace. Leïla Bekhti “Sink or Swim” After debuting with supporting roles in such films as the gonzo-horror pic “Sheitan” and offering the sole female presence in macho juggernaut “A Prophet,” actress Bekhti became movie star Bekhti with the release […]