Max and Léon

French Title: La folle de histoire de Max et Léon
Genre: Comedy 
Director: Jonathan Barre
Screenplay: David Marsais, Grégoire Ludig
Starring: David Marsais, Grégoire Ludig, Nicolas Mare, Bernard Farcy, Florence Forest
Distributor: Studio Canal
Length: 98 min
Country: France
US Release: North American Premiere 

It’s 1939, Max and Leon are inseparable friends and both utterly immature and foolish. Thrown into the middle of WWII, their sole objective quickly becomes to desert their platoon and return to their home town, their old simple life and their wine-drinking ways. But the harder they attempt to escape, the more they find themselves drawn into history in the making, all the way to the beaches of Normandy.

FOCUS ON: Making an Historical Comedy

“I think the most important for us is rejecting the easy path, avoiding that tendency to explain jokes, and point at the moment where one should laugh. We trust the audience’s intelligence, the codes and references we all share. I also think that the three of us are all equally allergic to pathos. So even in a very serious or tragic moment, we always look for a spin – following the Pixar or Spielberg model – to avoid the obvious violins and tears! Our main concern was to avoid making a film that was just a series of sketches, so we worked hard to avoid that. Right from our first brainstorming sessions, we were focused on making an historical film – deliberately choosing the Second World War so it would be a story that runs over time with a real cinematic atmosphere – and on making it as different as possible from our TV sketches which are more sliced up. I also made sure, along with the crew, to create elaborate images with wider shots. This allowed us to set David and Gregoire in an historical context and to have them together all the time. If you pay attention, you will see that they both figure in almost all the shots. Together, they create a comic entity.”

– Jonathan Barre

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