Tournée (2010) directed by Mathieu Almaric

Tournée is one of those wonderfully-crafted masterpieces that isn’t a masterpiece. A masterpiece is a word to describe a million different colours, themes and brushstrokes, or chemicals combined to create an image of insignificant brilliance. I don’t know why people should use such a word other then to describe something that could take hours to discuss in a few syllables.

I had been a fan of Almaric since seeing him in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and had seen him in other movies such that many westerners would know him from. I liked him in the Mesrine film. Many of the other pictures that he has worked on I have not had the pleasure of seeing but will always make an effort since seeing this film he directs and stars in.

Tournée is a road movie. This one takes the shape of a troupe of travelling burlesque performers – all picked individually and gathered into a group by the troupe’s French manager – Mathieu Almaric starring as Joachim Zand. The performers are all Americans, picked by Zand as he was travelling through the US, and brought to his home country to entertain the country in various venues and clubs. Simply its a rock and roll band on tour, the girls drink and party, it’s their show and they’ll perform it the way they want to, and Zand is there to manage.

There are plenty of delightful moments in this road movie and the road in this movie serves the purpose for all of us, the characters and the audience, can share this experience together. We’re all there to serve a common purpose, to get the show done, and everything that goes into that is here on show – all the relationships, the performances, the girls, the management, the audiences – they all gel together, or fall apart right before your eyes like a fly on the wall documentary, except that its not.

The Americans, in this French film, who are the stars of the show are the stars of this picture. The heart of the show, and also of this picture is Joachim Zand, the manager. As the film goes on, and as the show reaches its final audience in Paris I found this character increasingly mesmerising, and I don’t want to forget to mention the American Miranda Colclasure starring as the burlesque performer Mimi Le Meaux.

This film is filled with stunning performances bringing these characters to life and is full of heart with blood that pulses with a beat that runs through your veins filling the film with life and adventure. It’s because of this that it is a joy to endure, the performances are vivid, and the texture is raw. It beats to life with a study of the human character and successfully breathes the breathless emotions of the living character.

Five out of Five!

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About the anonymous projectionist

just wasting time watching movies, reading movies, staring at lenses and playing around with movie cameras
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