A middle-aged man named Georges (Jean Dujardin) leaves his wife and travels to a small French village to buy a ludicrously expensive vintage deerskin jacket. Stranded with no more money, Georges nevertheless deepens his relationship with his purchase, having full on conversations with the jacket in the privacy of his hotel room. It tells him that it has one wish – a wish that Georges enthusiastically shares. It wants to be the only jacket in the world.
The set-up of Deerskin is loopy to say the least but in the hands of cult filmmaker-musician Quentin Dupieux, it’s just another walk in the park. The warped mind behind the absurdist comic landscapes of Rubber and Wrong has returned with arguably the most bizarre midlife crisis narrative in cinematic history (although Mark Pellington’s much-lambasted I Melt With You would come a close second).
If you’re a fan of Dupieux already, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into here, as Georges and his jacket’s quest twists and diverts into increasingly ridiculous and blackly comic directions. This time, however, he’s found a perfect companion in Dujardin. The international megastar perfectly navigates Dupieux’s cracked landscape, unafraid to make Georges the pathetic, unappealing loser that he clearly is, while playing every line of dialogue for maximum hilarity. Any trace of the suave charm he gave off in The Artist is gone in favour of this surreal portrait of petulant masculinity.
Rarely does a film have you grinning from ear to ear so consistently.