If you’ve seen one French comedy, you’ve pretty much seen them. And 9 Mois Ferme is not an exception to this rule. You already know what to expect: a lot of gags, a bit of toilet humor with some slapstick sprinkled on top. And, of course, a pretty zany plot is a must. Albert Dupontel (Irréversible, Bernie, Locked Out) wrote, directed, and stars in this charming comedy. It’s great to see a movie directed so well, with amazing camera work. Strange angles and transitions combined with a lot of Dutch angles created a very vibrant atmosphere. Mostly because it cushioned the pretty static storyline and enhanced the pacing of the movie.
You just need to kick back, relax and let the movie flow off the screen. With a runtime of just under eighty minutes, you will soon be hungry for more of the same. It features a lot of crazy and authentic scenes stemming from the unusual plot. Dupontel is excellent as Bob Nolan and his chemistry with beautiful Sandrine Kiberlain was palpable. Sandrine gave her character a lot of complexity that I think wasn’t originally there. There are also a couple of cameos that I will leave for you to discover.
9 Mois Ferme touches upon several important issues albeit from a pretty playful angle. This makes them a bit more approachable and disarms resistance you might have towards them. You won’t even know you’re thinking about them. Also, the production values are top-notch, and don’t mistake this for some cheap and shabby-looking movie. So, this only accentuates all the macabre and sometimes pretty gory scenes we’re about to witness.
An uptight judge, who spent her career working with broken-up families suddenly finds out that she’s pregnant. She doesn’t remember the intercourse and she doesn’t know who’s the father. Chances are that he’s an upstanding citizen but also that he’s a serial murder. And not just any murder but the famed Eye Gobbler! And all this is happening just as she’s about to be promoted to the France’s highest court. So far, she’s been avoiding relationships, sex and all the other career stoppers. However, now she’s got quite a problem on her hands or in her belly, to be more precise.
The main story is as unbelievable as it is funny and bizarre. On the other hand, it’s something we won’t see in any of the major Hollywood productions. The way life forces us to constantly reevaluate our position and personality is best seen through these black/white situations turning to gray. The characters grow and there’s a moral to the story, albeit a bit too childish and obvious, it’s still there. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find the French language to be inherently funny. The way they pronounce words and talk fast just gets me every time. And this time the word judge or juge just cracked me. Although the first time I noticed it was during quite gloomy true crime documentary Who Killed Little Gregory.
The black humor is also present, spicing things up even more. With the whole movie centered around a judge and the French legal system, I think that they could have done a better job with those types of jokes. It would appear that Dupontel shares some of the same views of the sluggish and inefficient system as Bertrand Tavernier expressed in L.627. Finally, this is a quite short, decent, and refreshing French comedy with a couple of flaws. The storytelling is quite clunky and the plot would be much better if they added more complexity to it. However, 9 Mois Ferme also has a lot of redeeming qualities so be sure to check it out. If you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out Les Visiteurs and Vive La France.
Dutch Angle: A type of camera shot where camera shoots at an angle, meaning that the camera line is not parallel to the horizon, usually to portray tension.
Director: Albert Dupontel
Writers: Albert Dupontel, Héctor Cabello Reyes, Olivier Demangel
Cast: Albert Dupontel, Sandrine Kiberlain, Nicolas Marié, Philippe Uchan, Yolande Moreau, Michel Fau
Fun Facts: In the scene where the main male character Bob Nolan escapes from prison, two other prisoners briefly appear. One of them is in fact the French director Gaspar Noé.