Gallic director François Ozon's idiosyncratic Ricky represents an attempt to weld together two polar-opposite and seemingly incompatible genres: kitchen-sink realistic drama and high-concept Spielbergian fantasy. Loosely inspired by a Rose Tremain short story, the tale opens on a council estate just east of Paris (in the Seine-et-Marne), where single mom Katie (Alexandra Lamy) ekes out a low-key and fairly miserable existence. She earns her keep as a factory worker while glumly attempting to raise her seven-year-old daughter, Lisa (Mélusine Mayance), on the side. Circumstances shift dramatically when Katie falls into an affair with a Spanish colleague, Paco (Sergi López), but no one can guess just how dramatically. Together they conceive a son whom they name Ricky, who has a physiological quirk that makes him a freak of nature, draws a considerable amount of attention from the press, and creates all kinds of impracticalities for the parents. … More
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Critic Reviews for Ricky
The story begins in gritty realism, ends in pure fantasy and leaves out most of the alphabet as it makes its way from A to Z.
Ricky, the first of two Ozon films to debut this year, marks a return to his busy-bee ways, not least because it feels like two disparate movies joined at the hip.
It would be risible if Ozon's hand didn't remain so steady and confident throughout, all the way up to a complicatedly upbeat conclusion that recreates the Christian Annunciation with the straightest of faces.
What Ricky lacks is a more thorough, consistent examination of maternal bonds.
Because Ozon doesn't develop his characters once Ricky shows his true nature, the movie's slightly overcooked working-class realism quickly morphs into a grotesque story of a mutant baby. The film's two halves feel almost mutually exclusive.
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It's not a total success in delivering heartfelt movie satisfaction, but Ozon makes the film with absolute confidence
While there may be some sensational elements about this tale from François Ozon, it is essentially an engrossing love story with a twist
In Ozon's distinctively eccentric style, Ricky applies modern skepticism to the prospect of parthenogenesis (based on an American short story by Rose Tremain), then deepens the concept.
Refreshingly unpredictable, imaginative, funny and provocative, but it eventually becomes a bit uneven, awkward and lacks emotional resonance.
Ozon's Ricky contains moments of real grit, but also contains a dose of otherworldly magic that only movies can provide.
Ricky's quicksilver changes of mood and genre make for an engaging puzzle, but its last notes of transcendence seem insufficiently earned.
The first half is wholly successful, the second one is flawed... and the movement from one part to the other is handled with all the grace of a dachshund on wet ice.
Audience Reviews for Ricky
This could have easily turned into something cute and frivolous but Ozon has a way of turning a story inside out. Instead, Ricky is an angelic metaphor, an uplifting tragedy about coming to terms with devastating loss. An odd but lovable film.More
A single mom factory worker gives birth to a very special baby; of course, every mother thinks her baby is miraculous, but in this case the press thinks so, too. Magical realism that never really gets off the ground; it starts as a dour domestic drama then tries to shift gears and turn into a whimsical comedy. A good idea with a good heart, and beautifully acted, but unexpectedly dull in the execution.More
"Ricky" starts with Katie(Alexandra Lamy), a single mother, in tearful anguish, wanting to give up one of her children to foster care because he cries too much. Oh, if only that's all it was...
There was a time when it was just Katie and her 7-year old daughter Lisa(Melusine Mayance). At the factory where she works, Katie meets Paco(Sergi Lopez), a handsome new worker from Spain, and before you know it, they have a lunchtime quickie. Things between them turn more romantic after that, with Paco moving into Katie's small apartment with thin walls and they end up having a baby together.
While a deliriously loopy movie on the one hand with a particularly ambiguous ending, "Ricky" also serves a warning to beware of conceiving children around dangerous chemicals.(You see this kind of thing happening in comic books all of the time. Or would you prefer the spiritual approach?) Surprisingly what writer-director Francois Ozon gets right is the dynamic of a working class family, not hestitating to tell the story from Lisa's point of view on occasion as her close relationship with her mother is complicated by the entrance of a stranger into their close knit lives. This is followed by the relationship between Katie and Paco being thrown into turmoil by a new baby who receives the lion's share of attention due to the inordinate amount of his crying. On the other hand, there is one key moment when Katie does not behave like any mother I know in an act contrived only to move the plot forwards.
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