Film Review: Bloody Oranges

The last decade has seen a wave of populism spread across the world, eking into all areas of politics and everyday life. France is no exception. While they might have a smooth operator in charge in the shape of Emmanuel Macron, he is very far from being universally popular. Indeed, a country with such a strong history of industrial upheaval and nationalism, with a vocal far right minority, has many problems bubbling under the surface. Bloody Oranges considers this in a highly unusual way.

An elderly couple compete to win a rock ‘n’ roll dance competition in an attempt to win the prize to stave off bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the judges debate whether they should rate contestant purely on merit. A government minister is desperately trying to get ahead of impending tax fraud charges. A teenage girl worries about the prospect of losing her virginity. A pervert finds ways to satisfy his desires. Their stories collapse and collide.

Bloody Oranges is a chameleon of a film, stealthily alternating between genres and changing the emphasis of its fulcrum. You’ll either love or hate Jean-Christophe Meurisse’s shapeshifter. It starts out as a dialogue heavy comedy and then suddenly pivots away, becoming much darker. Along the way, Bloody Oranges tackles a number of issues and political talking points that are prevalent in modern France. Producing a fascinating, if difficult, social commentary.

Bloody Oranges is out in the UK on 16 September.

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