Irma Vep

Irma Vep ★★★★

I always enjoyed Oliver Assayas's take on the studio system and the people who populate it.

He nimbly avoids treachly romanticization while also steering clear of Too Cool for School cynicism about it. Assayas is a man who deeply loves film, warts and all. He giggles at the foibles of overdramatic actors and the social media gossip mill. He has also most likely sighed with delight watching two actors exchange a kiss against the background of a Magic Hour sky.

Because of this, I think he was really suited for this TV adaption. Also because he directed the original film, haha.

Alicia Vikander does a (nearly) convincing American accent and is acting her heart out. Kudos to her for chewing on that juicy dialogue.

And then there's Vincent Macaigne as the director. Could not get enough of this guy. He takes such impish delight in exasperating everyone around him. And he does it in a way where we still adore the little bastard.

"Vep" also gives Assayas a chance to revisit his celebrity-assistant (our modern day master-servant) fixation. He's not exactly treading new ground here, but I was impressed with all the (genuinely intriguing) arguments Devon Ross makes in favor of finding substance in genre trash.

I'm not as engaged with this as I was with his 2014 masterpiece "Clouds of Sils Maria," but I am really happy to spend time in his Parisian film world. At times it can feel a bit like "Riverdale" for Cannes attendees, but...maybe that's the movie we need right now?

(Series finished as of July 25th.)

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