Zero F**ks Given (Rien à Foutre)
A foundation of escapism and locked up grief facilitate the themes that emerge through Zero F**ks Given. Sensitively directed by Emmanuel Marre and Julie Lecoustre, this subtly fragile story unfolds around one girl’s job, her family’s loss and the impact of tragedy on those left behind.
Cassandra (Adèle Exarchopoulos), 27, is a newbie flight attendant on a budget airline based in Lanzarote. Though she quickly becomes efficient at her job, she is “not attached to anyone or anything”; her life turns intodso0f a mundane cycle of work, tinder dates and endless drug-fuelled party nights with her revolving team of eager, young work colleagues.
Her character develops slowly. First impressions convey that of a nonchalant millennial who doesn’t care about climbing the career ladder, let alone forming deep and meaningful relationships. However, as the narrative moves along, the audience learns of her mother’s sudden death and it becomes clear that this is the catalyst for her detached and somewhat reckless behaviour.
The incredibly intimate and voyeuristic cinematography from Olivier Boonjing creates a home video angle of the young woman on a handheld camera. This documentary-style proximity allows the viewer to engage with the protagonist’s private moments of grief; the glimmers of sadness behind the slick of red lipstick, pristine uniform; and endless faux smile of the perfect flight attendant.
Ceaseless bouts of symbolism are evident throughout. Hiding behind her phone in social situations, sending texts with the same smiley face she must fake for her work – and eventually the job she takes in Dubai where she stands in a Covid-secure small square to watch the beautiful fountains, a part of something huge, yet completely isolated.
The representation of Cassandra’s colleagues and family really supports the shift between her carefree existence with the airline staff and the love and bond she ultimately shares with her father and sister. In fact, the entire casting feels consistently authentic.
Creatively shot to keep the viewer close to the protagonist, Zero F**ks Given is an absorbing exploration of the grit behind the glamour of the attendant’s monotonous job and the subtle nuances of someone trying to run away from the heartbreak of grief.
Zero F**ks Given does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
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