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Roland is reached by the illness of'Alzheimer's and his family is the small-care with him, except his grandson JB which n'has that'a single goal to play the final of basketball in Paris. But the parents of JB blocked this weekend, asking him to monitor his grand-father. Therefore nothing will happen as expected because JB will lead Roland with him in his trip.Written by
Hugo Van Herpe
More and more French movies deal with the problems of families confronted to one of their old's parents ' premature ageing ,sometimes due ,like in "La Finale "to Alzheimer's desease .To treat this difficult subject ,the director alternates comedy and drama,and it takes all Thierry Lhermitte's talent to make his character not only credible but endearing.
A young man is to play a basketball finale , and everything is in league against him: his parents cannot take care of the senile granddad, cause they 've been caught on the road by the gendarmes , and the driving papa was intoxicated :this is rather implausible for a doctor -who is perhaps also a Muslim-,and the parents adventures (and the police custody) are only a pretext to oust them from the story.As if it were not enough ,the boy and his granddad also ends up in a police station (not the same) for they stand accused of the theft of the dog.
This highlights the problem of the movie :repetition ;another example :pappy's romance with a still attractive woman suffering from a similar disease;once or twice is enough .
Thierry Lhermitte carries the movie on his shoulder ,though his co-star is not bad either.Everything makes sense in his world ,his attitude has an internal logic.That his memories long gone remain vivid and still going on in the present is quite credible :hence the successful last scene which wins you over ,even if ,like me ,you do not a give a damn about football .
On the other hand , to make our gaga man come back to his former flat for sale was apparently a good idea or at least it seems to be ;but enough is enough :coincidence ! a real state agent and a couple are precisely looking over the place (only a stone's throw from the Parc Des Princes" ).Here the grandad seems to understand every word they say -Lhermitte's acting does not leave any doubt about it- he still has the use of his faculties ,which leads him to teach a lesson or two to the selfish parents .
All in all ,and mainly because of Lhermitte -not afraid to play a thankless part- and of ,to a lesser degree , his partner , the movie often shows some emotion, longing for the good old days ,and a desire to enjoy the remnants of your life .From this point of view ,"La finale" -an obvious double-entendre word!- can
be considered a successful film, for it introduced some fun in which was primarily a depressing tale.
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