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The second Act

The second Act


The Second Act by Quentin Dupieux opens the 77th 77ème Cannes Film Festival  this year after “Smoking Makes You Cough,” a feature film presented in the official selection out of competition in 2022.


“The Second Act” – Trailer. Starring Léa Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel, Raphaël Quenard, and Manuel Guillot.





Florence wants to introduce David, the man she is madly in love with, to her father Guillaume.

But David is not attracted to Florence and wants to get rid of her by throwing her into the arms of his friend Willy.

The four characters find themselves in a restaurant in the middle of nowhere.




Screened as the opening film of the 77th Cannes Film Festival, following the splendid ceremony, “The Second Act” was directed by Quentin Dupieux, whose films, though vastly different from one another, share a common thread of dark humor and absurd comedy.

The trailer immediately brought to mind echoes of Claude Lelouch. What is reality in cinema? What is fiction? Is cinema a depiction of fiction or life itself?

In the latest episode of “Bouillon de Culture,” presented by Bernard Pivot as a tribute following his passing, a segment touched upon this theme in an interview with Catherine Deneuve, ultimately concluding that it’s a blend of both, as artists always infuse a bit of themselves into their roles.

There are three films within ‘The Second Act’: the one we think we’re watching, the one the actors think they’re playing, and the one ultimately realized by… an artificial intelligence.

Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, violent and non-violent, is at the heart of it. What words to use when speaking about someone, how to behave around them?

The film depicts the film industry as particularly violent.

Artists bond on set but may never see each other again; producers take advantage of artists, and once-idealistic artists become less altruistic when it comes to their careers.

Is cinema boring?

Quentin Dupieux denounces all of this in his film, and the first part is a riot.

The exchanges between the actors are a delight.

However, the message begins to loop and unfortunately becomes a bit tiresome, even irritating – perhaps intentionally so – and the ending, very, very boring.

Is cinema boring? Partly produced by Netflix – the famous Tudum – the sudden appearance of the logo at the beginning of the film startled many.

The irony is complete.


Worth seeing in theaters today.


Quentin Dupieux, Jury du Nikon Film Festival.
Watch the films here


Learn more about the Cannes Film Festival


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