The French have such a knack for absurdist comedies and horror comedies (this film being the former), that it’s hard not to almost smile ear to ear and enjoy how far out there and how ridiculously things unfold on screen. Some Like It Rare and Bloody Oranges are just some examples of this absurdist storytelling that could never be done in a North American production. However, when you find out you’re about to watch a film directed by Quentin Dupieux (writer/director of Rubber), you should be prepared so that nothing surprises you as Quentin knows how to take the absurd and ridiculous, turn it on its head, and create something that’s so intriguing and intricate that the story speaks louder than anything else going on in the film. That is to say, he manages to craft a script and direction that can be enhanced by great performances, but, if they lack, the movie itself does not suffer.
Dupieux’s latest film, Incredible but True (Incroyable Mais Vrai), focuses on a couple consisting of Alain (Alain Chabat) and Marie (Léa Drucker) as they’re buying a house and are told there is something uncharacteristic in the basement. At first, they believe it is just a sewer, but they find out it is a kind of interdimensional time hole, as when you enter you shave three days off your age, and, when you come back out, it is 12 hours later. At first, they’re concerned about this time portal in their potential basement, but the realtor forces their hand by informing them that there is another offer, resulting in them deciding to snatch up the property. With the couple being in the mid-to-late 40s or early 50s, their biological clocks are ticking, and, while that doesn’t appear to totally bother Alain at first, Marie is more than interested in shaving time off her life.
Possibly spiked by Alain’s friend Gerard (Benoît Magimel) coming to dinner one night with his significantly younger girlfriend Jeanne (Anaïs Demoustier), Marie’s initial desire to become younger turns into the desire to abuse the time portal to shave more time off her life. Also, during this dinner, Jeanne decides to inform Marie and Alain that Gerard has undergone an elective surgery to receive an electric penis. Thusly, Incredible but True poses the question of whether it is safe to play with things that shouldn’t be tinkered with and that whether by choosing an elective surgery to make yourself feel more “manly” by enhancing performance or by shaving time off your biological clock by way of a portal, the consequences are bound to be dire.
As previously mentioned, Dupieux doesn’t need great performances as his script more than carries itself by anyone able to deliver a performance. In the case of Incredible but True that is accurate, as neither Alain or Léa delivers a great performance, but it is the absurdity of the script that carries the film and creates the atmosphere audiences are going to find themselves getting lost in. Now, it is not to say that they’re replaceable, because their chemistry of the tired marriage that has clearly hit its last rung is evident, but their performances don’t bring forth any deeper emotions or connections.
Arrow is releasing Incredible but True, and if you’ve followed Arrow and their releases, then you are in for quite the treat. This set has the standard reversable art that comes with almost all Arrow releases and boasts a plethora of special features. It features a 1080p Blu-ray with original 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround audio and optional lossless stereo; optional English subtitles; interviews with Alain Chabat, Benoît Magimel, and Quentin Dupieux; a feature entitled “Upside Down, Inside Out: An Appreciation of the Films of Quentin Dupieux” by critic Elena Lazic; a trailer gallery; and (included only in the first pressing) an illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel and interviews with the cast and a reversible poster.
With that all being said, this is a must-have for anyone who’s a fan of Dupieux’s work, loves the work that Arrow puts out, or wants a hybrid between Arrow and Criterion as the first pressing bonus feels like something out of Criterion. There is so much to love about this absurdist picture and a healthy number of bonuses will surely leave audiences salivating at this release.
EoM Editor’s Note: Arrow Video posted the following announcement via their Twitter regarding the Incredible But True release on November 8th, 2022:
Incredible but True Special Features:
- High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
- Original 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround audio and optional lossless stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles
- Cast and director Interviews with Alain Chabat, Benoît Magimel and Quentin Dupieux
- Upside Down, Inside Out, An Appreciation of the Films of Quentin Dupieux by critic Elena Lazic
- Trailer gallery
- Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel and interviews with the cast, and reversible poster featuring two choices of artwork
Available for streaming on Arrow Player November 7th, 2022.
Available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Arrow Video on November 8th, 2022.
For more information or to purchase, head to MVD Entertainment Group’s Incredible but True webpage.
Categories: Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews, streaming
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