This daring prank on motherhood is brilliantly carried by Marina Foïs and Jonathan Cohen, who form a hilarious tandem.
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With Huge, director Sophie Letourneur offers a comedy – which we highly recommend – absurd, sometimes disturbing, which shakes up genres, questions maternal instinct and directly evokes certain taboos both with freshness and with stunning rawness. Recognized pianist, Claire (Marina Foïs which at the time found itself in the midst of a controversy) is married to Frederic (Jonathan Cohen), who is also her assistant and handyman. While the couple has chosen not to have children, Frédéric attends a childbirth. He has a revelation: now he wants a baby at all costs… and decides to tamper with his girlfriend’s pill. Happen what must happen: Sophie finds herself pregnant despite herself, to the delight of her husband.
The completely crazy anecdote that inspired the film
The incongruity of the state of pregnancy, this strange ninth month where the woman feels dispossessed of her body, the behavior of the companion (and future father) sometimes lunar… Sophie Letourneur had the idea for the film when she herself was pregnant. “During the ninth month of my second pregnancy, she says, I was taking notes. It was so crazy, these twists and turns, this expectation, these huge tragicomic situations, that I wanted to make a film out of it.”. The filmmaker, who was greatly inspired by her husband to write certain dialogues and situations, recounts, for example, this anecdote: “I had passed the term of my pregnancy. We were walking in the street to promote contractions, and I thought I was losing the mucous plug. In the middle of the street, he put his hand in my panties to check ! I wrote it down, finding it both funny and vexing at the same time.”
A clever mix of genres
The director used a clever device for her staging. During the sequences taking place in the hospital, the illusion of the editing makes it seem that Marina Foïs and Jonathan Cohen are playing in the presence of actors embodying the hospital staff. However, it is not. They do not reply to anyone! The midwives and other doctors that we see on screen are real healthcare professionals, whom Sophie Letourneur filmed for a month in their professional setting, either by asking them to improvise situations, or by filming them during their work. These sequences were then added to the edit. “This formal bias allowed me to confront the ultra-realism of the situations with the burlesque comedy of the story.” Guaranteed effect!