C'est Pas Moi, Je le Jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear!) Reviews
Leon: Let's start a new life together.
Lea: Leon, we're 10.
Leon: Exactly! It's not too late.
What did this movie teach me? Apparently children in Quebec drink, smoke, hit women, and are suicidal all by the age of 10. Brilliant.
It's Not Me, I Swear (Ce N'est Pas Moi, Je Le Lure) is a 2008 French-Canadian film that has characters who are victimized by their environments--in this case, the suburbs. This is another Canadian film that threw through the cracks of the cinema introspection, and is truly an effective piece about characters who have only one redeeming quality: they are human. The film isn't about characters trying to survive in the suburbs (something American Beauty, a spellbinding film, was about) but rather escaping it. The story doesn't explicitly play off the boy who cried wolf, but more about the boy who cried fox (you'll understand if you see it), though the animal analogy is still there, but just turned on its head. The fox doesn't inflict on the boy's wickedness but is the only good he can find. A fox is sly, subtly ferocious, and underestimated, like the boy. You could say the fox is a smaller scale version of a wolf, which is what we're dealing with here--a smaller scale human: a little boy.
The story follows Léon, a 10 year-old who plays hooky from school and raids and eggs neighbours' homes while they are away. He isn't your typical child and life for him is no nicer than he is. This is like the story of Alex (from A Clockwork Orange) as a youngling and speaking in French dialect. But where was arbitrarily psychotic, Léon's will for attention is a result of his parent's incessant fighting and lack of friends. Eventually, Léon meets Lea, a crush of his, who struggles with parental problems just as equally. The film forms a subtle love story of the two but the relationship is more focused on their connections as forgotten souls. Director Philippe Faradeau almost takes on a prolonged adventure story overwhelmed in harrowing mishaps but eventually, and wisely, eludes this.
Faradeau is compelled with the angelic aspect of the world. His continuous aerial shots are mesmerizing as it looks down on its self-regulating world. Antoine L'...cuyer (Léon) effectively portrays a boy who feels his abnormality is an impedance in his family so well that we care about him even though he isn't utterly likeable. Once the ending unravels, it isn't anti-climactic, it is fittingly ethereal and bitter-sweet. Is paradise found for Léon? Not necessarily, but the life that perhaps abuses him may have redeemed him.
I SAY-See it.