Cinefranco 2018: Our Review of ‘Carbone’

Cinefranco 2018: Our Review of ‘Carbone’

French businessman Antoine Roca (Benoit Magimel) is in millions of euro in debt. But he still finds time to walk out of his father in law’s (Gerard Depardieu) shabat dinner. And hang out with his poker buddies. Antoine is in debt because of taxes that appeared out of the blue that his accountant showed him. Said accountant also flagged a few thousand dollars that the government owes him because of carbon emissions allowances.

Carbone isn’t necessarily good at explaining those allowances to the layman. But it somehow lines up the idea that Antoine can get more if his business wasn’t in France. Bad thrillers are about its lead characters making one mistake after another. Because of that, he decides to make bogus corporations to double up his profits. He also ropes his poker buddies into the scam. Two of them are brothers, one of them is a coke head loudmouth.

Carbone is another Cinefranco selection that also got its story from the headlines. However, it also can’t help but shape its plot to resemble a millennial Scarface, insufferable references and all. The director, Oliver Marchal, was a police officer before switching careers and becoming a movie director. He has his assets, showing off the underworld’s cultural specificity. Nonetheless, there’s a funny coincidence here about the title since it’s a carbon copy of past gangster movies.

Not even its slick 21st century surfaces can hide its lack of originality. It also follows the genre’s storytelling beats and arcs too closely. This is especially true with Antoine’s downward spiral, which feels more sadistic than it should ever be. Magimel is good here, his weary face a capable canvas to the amorality that other characters stick to him. But the film also surrounds him with some grandstanding actors like Depardieu. Too bad.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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