CANNES FILM REVIEW: Mathias Gokalp’s ‘Nothing Personal’

nothing personal x650By Ray Bennett

CANNES – It’s been said of some Hollywood studios that executive competition was so bad that colleagues stabbed you in the front. That’s pretty much what happens with the suits at a pharmaceutical company in Mathias Gokalp’s corporate satire, “Nothing Personal”, which screened in Critics’ Week.

All the action takes place during a cocktail party held at a fancy museum where the employees are drawn into role-playing that some take more seriously than others. As the rumor spreads that each staff member is being evaluated and the company is up for sale, behavior worsens.

Director Gokalp, who co-wrote the film with Nadine Lamari, repeats several sequences in order to reveal what actually happened in key encounters, but the repetition becomes tedious rather than amusing. The picture is unlikely to travel beyond domestic consumption.

It makes observations about the way big companies treat employees and how they treat each other that are common to all countries, and the infighting is sophisticated. But the humor is almost too dry and Gallic, and the static situation soon palls.

There are some familiar faces from French movies in the cast including Zabou Breitman and Bouli Lanners (pictured) along with Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Melanie Doutey, and Pascal Greggory, plus Gilles Bergerat from Comedie Francaise, but their moments to shine in the crowd are limited.

This review appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.


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