TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘A Difficult Year’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2023 by - September 14, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘A Difficult Year’

They happen more often then you think…

A Difficult Year is the kind of political and social satire that goes down so effortlessly you almost forget how smart it actually all is.

The first encounter between Bruno (Pio Marmaï) and Albert (Jonathan Cohen) is hardly the most positive one.  Albert has just stolen a TV that he is delivering to Bruno, who upon finding out that he’s being evicted, embarks on a half-hearted and clumsy suicide attempt and in a haze of vomit; a friendship is ultimately born.  They find out they have a lot in common too, they’re both in debt and badly.  Addicted to the consumerist lifestyle and going nowhere even with debt counsellor Henri (Mathieu Amalric) giving them guidance they are simply lost and looking for purpose.  In search of a free beer they stumble into a meeting of new age activists dedicated to stopping over consumption in all of it’s forms where the energy boosting hugs are flowing freely, particularly from the groups alluring leader (Noémie Merlant).  Bruno is on board and hopes to spark a romance with this new woman in his life who convinces him to participate in more and more elaborate demonstrations.  He’s just hoping to find love, before he gets arrested and his life really goes to hell.

There’s a simple charm to A Difficult Year as it makes some really complex social statements wrapped inside a charming love story and comedy of errors that is quite hard to look away from.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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