Jumbo (2018)

Emmanuelle Bercot, Noémie Merlant, Sam Louwyck, Bastien Bouillon,
Jumbo is a movie starring Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, and Bastien Bouillon. Jeanne, a shy young woman, works in an amusement park. Fascinated with carousels, she still lives at home with her mother. That's when Jeanne meets...
  • 6.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Zoé Wittock, Director:
  • Anais Bertrand, Producer:

Trailer:

6 / 10

When a machine loves a woman

Zoé Wittock has not chosen the easy way for her first feature film. A movie about a cleaning lady falling in love with an amusement park attraction: it sounds like a bad joke. But in fact, Wittock takes it quite seriously. The film is appealing because of the way she tells the story: the love affair is not shown in a problematic or laughable way. It's just a little bit different and out of the ordinary, that's all.The other good thing about this film is the lead actress. Noémie Merlant is excellent as the shy girl Jeanne, who is happier in the company of a colourful machine than when she is spending time with other humans. Those who have seen her as the painter in 'Portrait d'une jeune fille en feu' will admire her versatility even more.The strange relationship between woman and machine is shown in some very good scenes, one of which, suggesting even sexual emotions, really stands out for its creativity.The flip side is that, apart from the subject matter and the lead actress, there is not so much special about the film. The other characters are not well developed, the story is rather thin, and the ending feels a bit contrived. This is a nice little movie, with a healthy dose of weirdness. But one unusual idea is not enough to carry a whole film.

8 / 10

Original subject with zero judgment

Zoé Wittock is already known for "Portrait d'une jeune fille en feu" which also features the main actress Noémie Merlant.

I loved Jumbo and the objectophily is treated with as much respect and sensitivity as Zoé could. Jeanne is shy and fragile, different than the others schoolgirls like her, and she gradually feels spellbound by this big attraction, which she calls Jumbo. Jumbo is full of lights and it's a pretty intense attraction so Jumbo can actually make her feel something than nothing else can. So the emotional aspect is not just totally inside Jeanne's head ; there is also Jumbo's part, and even some surnatural, maybe symbolic animation from the object, but it's very poetic and discrete. I love the way this was handled, with much parcimony.There is a clear message at the end, an incentive to make us respect this special sexuality that really isn't bothering any one except the most narrow-minded. Jeanne only asks one thing, to be left alone and spend some time with Jumbo, but somehow this is too much to ask the whole society is despising her, it's really frustrating to watch, with still a positive shift at the end.There is even interesting aesthetics and photography, with the sensuality between Jeanne and Jumbo, without ever falling into graphic sexuality. It's subtle and beautiful.We must salute the director's initiative because this is a very touchy subject and she went all-in to propose us something new, something original and different. This is what I want to see in cinema.Anyone can appreciate this, I recommend.

9 / 10

Fantastic movie for an open audience

Entertaining watch, with an interesting storyline and EVEN BETTER score! The film stands out. Especially if you think everything has already been done before.

2 / 10

Embarrassing

In 1996's "Crash", David Cronenberg sexualized automobiles, specifically car crashes, in order to spotlight the often fetishistic relationship we have with technology. Writer director Zoé Wittock makes a mockery of this groundbreaking idea (or a bold statement if you're that gullible) with this ridiculous tale of l'amour mécanique-an ill-advised attempt, perhaps, to spread the gospel of "It's Okay to be Different!" Socially awkward teen Jeanne is mortified by her divorced mother's Bohemian exploits and frigidly resistant to the amorous advances of her new boss at the amusement park where she works. She finally does meet her soul mate however when "Jumbo", one of the park's rides, comes to kaleidoscopic life one night and dazzles her with its neon display before giving her her first orgasm. Smitten, Jeanne must now face the uncomprehending vitriol of her mother and her boss' confused jealousy. At least mom's latest bar pick-up seems to understand that different folks have different strokes... A facile script that expects us to believe a dorky virgin would leap onto a crankshaft at the first sound of a whirring cog further insults our intelligence with CGI pyrotechnics obviously meant to elicit a sense of magical wonder over the limitless possibilities of love. Personally I just felt acutely embarrassed.