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CANNES 2024 Cannes Premiere

Review: Jim’s Story


- CANNES 2024: Karim Leklou lights up a magnificent and poignant film by Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, about the long trajectory of a complex paternity

Review: Jim’s Story
Karim Leklou and Eol Personne in Jim’s Story

“For the good of all, for him, for us, for you.” Being a father is an immense joy, access to another dimension of oneself, but it can also be a source of torment. And in the case of sweet, gentle Aymeric, the protagonist of French directors Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu's excellent Jim's Story [+see also:
interview: Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu
film profile
, a free adaptation of Pierric Bailly's novel of the same name unveiled in the Cannes Premiere programme at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, the situation is even more “complicated and bizarre” because he is not the father of the child he has lovingly raised and whose biological father one day reappears in the panorama. But can paternity be shared? It's a question explored wonderfully in this masterfully crafted film, a story of twists and turns and touching humanity that spans almost 27 years, following a heroic anti-hero brilliantly played by Karim Leklou.

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It all begins with the portrait of a 20-year-old man who doesn't really know who he is. It’s 1996 and Aymeric is suffering from a broken heart. Having dropped out of school, he returned to live with his parents in Saint-Claude, in the Jura, where he works as a warehouse employee. His acquaintances got him involved in stealing paintings by breaking and entering, and he spent a few months showing off, pretending to be someone else, before going to prison for two years. But in the winter of 2000, the story that was to shape his entire life begins: he marries nurse Florence (Laetitia Dosch), who is six months pregnant. For seven years, he “takes care of everything” as the model father of Jim (Eol Personne), in the heart of the sublime countryside where the little family settles. Until the day Christophe (Bertrand Belin), Jim's real father, turns up, shocked by a cruel bereavement and introduced to his son as an ‘old friend of Mum's’. For Aymeric and Jim, nothing will ever be the same again...

"Who's my daddy?" Narrated in voiceover by Aymeric, Jim’s Story masterfully peels back its main subject from the front and from the side, through the multi-life destiny of one man and from the reflexive angle of the son (played as a young adult by Andranic Manet). The Larrieu brothers weave the many temporal ellipses with great fluidity, giving a real identity to every secondary character (special mention to Sara Giraudeau) and giving their story a moving dimension of a universal island (enhanced by Irina Lubtchansky's subtly vintage photography), making this perhaps the best film of their career.

Jim’s Story was produced by SBS Productions and co-produced by Arte France Cinéma. Pyramide International handles international sales.

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(Translated from French)

Photogallery 23/05/2024: Cannes 2024 - Jim's Story

12 pictures available. Swipe left or right to see them all.

Karim Leklou, Lætitia Dosch, Eol Personne, Sara Giraudeau
© 2024 Fabrizio de Gennaro for Cineuropa -,

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