“Juniors”: a teenager fakes cancer to afford a game console in a tender and squeaky comedy by Hugo Thomas

In his latest feature film, junior, Hugo Thomas depicts two teenagers from the countryside imagining a Machiavellian plan to finance their new game console. The director of Willy 1er and D’acidsigns a lively, funny and touching social comedy, to be seen in cinemas from July 26th.

Jordan (Ewan Bourdelles) lives alone with his nurse mother (Vanessa Paradis), often absent, in the small village of Mornas, lost in the countryside. He has only one boyfriend, Patrick (Noah Zandouche), as unpopular as he was in college. Inseparable, the two teenagers escape boredom by playing video games.

So when Jessica lets them go (Jessica, that’s the nickname they gave to their game console), it’s a tragedy. How to replace Jessica, good for the breakage? A failed haircut inspires Jordan to raise money with an online fundraiser by posing as a child with cancer…

Through this story of an incongruous scam, Hugo Thomas scrutinizes the French countryside today, and these teenagers who grow up in landscapes drawn by the contours of the fields, the stacks of haystacks, or by the curve of the departmental road on which the bus that takes them to college stops every morning.

Isolated? Not that much, since they live connected to the planet via mobile phones, computer, social networks or video games. And it is also on the web, an abstract world full of distant promises, that this idea of ​​a saving kitty to buy a new console hatches almost by chance.

“A perfect little country life”

“A perfect little country life”, that’s what Jordan’s mother imagined when she moved to this small rural village. But the reality is more complex, and the city-dweller’s fantasy is often disappointed. Hugo Thomas makes a very accurate painting of these forgotten areas of France, of this youth stuck in desert landscapes and lives without perspectives, but connected to a virtual world opening onto fields of infinite possibilities, often in reality inaccessible.

The two teenagers plunge their fingers into the jam, without realizing that their lie on the web will spread as quickly as lightning in real life, and that reality will come back to them like a boomerang.

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Vanessa Paradis and Ewan Bourdelles in the film by Hugo P. Thomas, released on July 26, 2023 (THE JOKER FILMS)

Deprived of Jessica, the two boys discover life by indulging in old-fashioned occupations: the “Patator” (potato thrower), swimming in the river with the girls from college, a Halloween party. These simple joys, Patrick discovers them by emancipating himself from Jordan, excluded from the game by the lie. And all this adventure puts the friendship of the two boys to the test.

Do you have to invent a life and break the rules to emancipate yourself when you grow up in the countryside? How to recognize what is essential in a hyperconnected world, ruled by the dictatorship of popularity? It is with a very simple drawing that Jordan responds nicely to this last question, before getting on the bus that takes him to his new life far from Mornas…

An alert editing, a clever use of music, hilarious dialogues, well-crafted secondary characters, and above all two young, impressive beginner actors, without forgetting the short but intense performance of Vanessa Paradis in a film where teenagers take center stage… This funny and sensitive comedy is to be enjoyed this summer with the whole family.

Movie poster "Junior"by Hugo P. Thomas, released on July 26, 2023 (THE JOKERS FILMS)

The sheet

Gender : Comedy
Director: Hugo Thomas
Actors: Vanessa Paradis, Ewan Bourdelles, Noah Zandouche
Country : France
Duration :
1h 35min
Exit :
July 26, 2023
Distributer :
The Jokers Movies

Synopsis :

Jordan, 14, is bored in the small village of Mornas. His nursing mother being often away, he keeps busy with his best friend Patrick by playing their console affectionately named Jessica. But when Jessica passes away, Jordan decides to fake an illness and set up an online kitty to buy himself one. When this lie spreads in the college courtyard, eyes finally turn to them. A start of popularity that will put their unwavering friendship to the test…

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