May 29, 2023

The Five Devils (Les Cinq Diables) is the latest film from Léa Mysius who delivers one of the most visually striking films of 2022. We got the chance to see this one at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival this past fall. We really loved the story and performances. Adèle Exarchopoulos is the youngest person to win the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival and stars as Joanne Soler. Sally Drame plays the daughter Vicky and Moustapha Mbengue plays Jimmy who is the husband in the film. The happy family soon have their life take a turn when the husbands sister Julia played by Swala Emeti returns. It’s a story of regret and finding yourself in the ever so complicated world.

We really enjoyed the atmosphere that the film provided alongside the gorgeous cinematography from Paul Guilhaume. There are many shots of that very otherworld ones that transport you to the middle of it all. These A lot of the film is told through the perspective of a young child. This works due to us as the viewer almost sharing that same curiosity as a child about what happened during an incident many years ago in the film. We eventually find out about this incident slowly which I liked the film slowly unraveled this big reveal. I won’t spoil the movie as I think it is one that going in not knowing much of adds more to its reveals.

The acting here is phenomenal as we see the characters navigate complex feelings of both love and regret. The film is quiet so its crucial for the actors to be able to portray these feelings with little dialogue sometimes. All of this is achieved and causes the film to be much more heartbreaking. I really enjoyed a karaoke scene in the movie which is one of my favorite of all of 2022. The score is subtle but very powerful as well and the needle drops are just so intense filled with callbacks. Its a genre bending film that has so much sadness and love at the same time making it a unique experience. I left thinking about the film all night after watching it. Overall it was one of my favorite films of 2022 but also feel its more fantastical side can detract from the love story its centered on.

We give The Five Devils a 3.7/5 due to its amazing story told through time and intense performances.

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