Film Review: Deerskin (Le Daim)

Writer-director Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin (Le Daim) is absurd and entertaining. The film is a real treat.

Georges spends his savings on a fringed, deerskin jacket. Holed up in a country motel, Georges becomes obsessed with his jacket, and wants to be the only jacket-wearer in the world… 

Deerskin (Le Daim) offers an outlandish and intriguing premise. The idea that a jacket is controlling its owner is an amusing premise, and one that should hook viewers. As the film gets underway, it is interesting to see where Dupieux will run with this. 

The film combines humour with darkness in a very successful manner. Comedy is present throughout, with the humour turning darker as the narrative does. There are a lot of laughs to be had, with Dupieux makes even the violence a source of comedy. 

Running at 77 minutes, Dupieux tells his story in a succinct manner. At one point, it is unclear exactly how the filmmaker will conclude the story. Deerskin has legs to continue with its absurd story; some may feel it is a shame to end things when it does. Nevertheless, the finale is satisfying. The ending exemplifies the film’s excellent combination of comedy and the macabre. 

Depieux explicitly plays with the idea that films need a message. Using the overt device of Georges making a film, there are plenty of jokes about the protagonist’s lack of knowledge and Denise reading something into the footage. Jean Dujardin delivers a great performance as Georges. His deadpan delivery is essential, and Dujardin carries this off very well. Adèle Haenel provides good support as Denise, although it is very much the protagonist’s story. Music is used well throughout the film. 

Deerskin is a very entertaining watch. The film marries creativity and accessibility in an amusing package. 

Deerskin (Le Daim) is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2019.

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