Naked Normandy (2018)

  • Year: 2018
  • Released: 10 Jan 2018
  • Country: France
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  • IMDb:
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: French, English
  • MPA Rating: N/A
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime: 105 min
  • Writer: Victoria Bedos, Olivier Dazat, Philippe Le Guay
  • Director: Philippe Le Guay
  • Cast: François Cluzet, François-Xavier Demaison, Julie-Anne Roth
  • Keywords: naturism,

Naked Normandy Storyline

In Mêle-sur-Sarthe, a small Norman village, the agricultural crisis seriously affects the exhausted and ruined breeders, who are looking for ideas to draw attention to their dying profession. They are organizing a demonstration and a roadblock on the RN 12 near Mortagne-au-Perche. An American art photographer, Blake, who specializes in the nude, in search of the perfect place to create his next photographic work, finds himself blocked by the demonstration. During the meeting between Blake and Georges Balbuzard, peasant and mayor of the city, the latter decides to create a media buzz to help his fellow farmers: he hires him to photograph the people of the village naked, because they are professionally already bare. But the Normans are reluctant to undress, especially the village butcher Roger who knows that all men would very much like to see the naked body of his wife Gisèle, former Miss Calvados. Against the backdrop of ancestral family quarrels and generalized modesty, will modern art photography composed of nudes in the middle of Champ Chollet and the political buzz really take place? Blake is impatient, because the orientation of the sun will soon be unfavorable and the extras are slow to arrive .—Wiki

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Naked Normandy Movie Reviews

A charming film with real characters

A warming story of interwoven lives and the struggle of change when traditions are deeply ingrained. I really enjoyed this film.

The French type of humour is rough and honest which is refreshing. The characters were all very real, with so much relevant backstory to each individual. The dialogue is excellent, showing relationships and giving information without delivering it directly as so many films do. The village feels tangibly isolated and appropriately stuck in old ways. You must see this film!

For a point of reference, and since it will inevitably be compared to The Intouchables, I gave that movie 10/10 because it could not be any better and is one of my favourites of all time. This is a different movie: watch it as such.

Excessively schmaltzy mishmash of clichés – is photography Normandy’s salvation?!

François Cluzet is a highly reliable and even gifted actor, as demonstrated in LES INTOUCHABLES, MEDECIN DE CAMPAGNE, and LA MECANIQUE DE L’OMBRE, among others. But he cannot carry this film on his own, especially when he is so insufficiently aided by a cast of unknowns who were probably hired locally.

Suffice it to say that the most imaginative – and funny – scene in the whole film is the opening sequence, where a character we do not see again gets out of his camping tent, starts urinating and realizes that he is smack bang in the middle of a nudity camp.

There are many subplots, mostly meaningless fillers, but perhaps the most baffling is one about a fellow who has an agency in Paris but decides to move to the country, with a daughter who doubles up as narrator with a vandalistic graffiti streak who keeps spraying “à poil” (get naked) on the windows of a former local beauty competition winner; he starts suffering from respiratory problems prompted by allergies but he remains adamant that he wants to stay in the country; in the end, completely unexpectedly and after all manner of illness and other shortcomings as a result of his alleged desire to live in nature, he admits that he is dying to get back to Paris. So narrator and he fly by helicopter to Paris while the wife stays for the communal photograh in stark nudity… huh?!

The inevitable feud over a land claim also rears its head, the land claimer even threatens others with a gun, but the whole issue is so amiably settled that you know you’re watching a fairy tale.

As if that were not dire enough, two “Americans” (they sound British, but this is a French film for French audiences) turn up and one of them has earned a reputation out of photographing naked crowds. Cluzet, as the mayor, first opposes it, then seems to think that it is an opportunity to show the plight of local cattle farmers… but some locals oppose it, including the former beauty contest winner’s jealous husband, who brandishes a big kitchen knife but is ultimately as harmless as he is fat.

Cluzet gets his pièce de resistance in a scene in which he fakes suicide by hanging, but it is embarrassingly poorly done, followed by adult men throwing hay at each other. Huh?!

And so it goes on, right up to the utterly wayward and mendacious ending, which suggests that Normandy’s fate hangs on a nude photo.

Two minor saving graces: pleasant landscape photography and good use of local colloquial language, giving the film a credible rural feel.

Sadly, direction, plot and script all oscillate between uninspired and amateurish. I could not wait for the end and left feeling annoyed that I had paid to watch such childish stuff.

mediocre comedy

In the French region of Normandy, farmers and cattle breeders face economic hardship. A once prosperous village is about to crumble into oblivion. One day a very special visitor comes along : a famed American photographer who likes to stage large-scale nude scenes. Participating in the photograph would put the whole village on the map…

There’s not much to say about this comedy, in the sense that it is neither very good nor very bad. It is brave enough to tackle a number of environmental themes, such as the impact on the climate of cattle breeding and meat consumption. However, I’m not sure if the movie grasps the full gravity of some of these themes, just as I’m not sure if it finds the right tone in which to address them. One of the characters, for instance, is an adolescent girl who makes a number of cogent points about animal welfare and environmental protection, but sounds so nasty and entitled that even an unusually patient saint would feel an urgent desire to throttle her. This, in other words, is not the most admirable spokeswoman for these ideas.

I’ve got to say that the character of the American photographer remained a riddle for me. There’s nothing wrong with making photographs of nude people – but why try to badger a whole community in participating, if it’s clear that many people don’t like the idea ? That makes about as much sense as hijacking a school bus on the way to a parish Christmas party and forcing the children to build snowmen, whether they like it or not. Ah, well, everything for art…

For the rest this is the kind of movie that tends to invite smiles rather than laughs or chuckles. The lush, verdant scenery is enchanting and invites many a discussion about mankind’s lost Edenic happiness.