Préjudice (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: Antoine Cuypers
Distributor: Cinéart
Duration: 103 minutes

Préjudice (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Photography
Bad: Not enough context to make the characters more relatable
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A nice family barbecue, doesn’t that sound tempting? Add in some good news and laughing people, and you have your own little fairytale. With Cédric’s family, things go the other way though. When they are having a garden party, tension soon fills the air. It’s not exactly our idea of a nice family get-together, yet it’s an interesting starting point for a film, is what Antoine Cuypers must have thought for his debut.

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Cédric (Thomas Blanchard) is 32 and still lives with his parents. His brother and sister both have found a partner and have started a life of their own. Cédric desperately wants to make a trip to Austria, because he loves listening to yodeling and has a giant poster of the Austrian mountains in his room, but his mother doesn’t let him, as she is too concerned that he is not independent enough to make this trip on his own.

Caroline (Ariane Labed), Cédric’s sister, asked to call the whole family together for a barbecue, as she has big news to tell: she and her husband Gaetan (Eric Caravaca) are expecting a baby. The whole family is enthusiastic, except for Cédric. He doesn’t get what everyone is so excited about and tries to shift all attention back to him. Everybody gets quite annoyed at him, because he keeps interrupting. It results in him getting mad, trying to make a point, but always being blocked by the others, because they are tired of listening to his nonsense. They all just think that the is a bit simple, while that is exactly what he gets mad about. They don’t see him for who he is, and they don’t allow him to become the man he could be. At the same time Caroline gets annoyed because she expected to be the center of attention, with her big news. The family has hopefully had more cheerful nights than this one.

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The story of Préjucide is set at Cédric’s parents’ home and spans only one evening. This makes it quite difficult to stay interesting, yet the scenes follow on each other quite fast. That aside, the story is not that easy to understand, since you don’t know the background of any of the characters, not even Cédric. How did he become so bitter? Is he really mentally ill, or just oppressed, as he claims himself? And why does his family react so curtly on everything he is trying to say? You can’t really figure these things out, because of the lack of information, which is a bit sad, as it could have added an extra layer to the film. The film does raise one interesting question: is it Cédric, or is it his parents who take the blame? Your opinion will probably change throughout the film, as Cédric spills his guts more and more.

Where the mindset of the characters might be a bit strange at times, the photography is simply marvelous. Long shots are often used and create a unique blend of restlessness and peace. Also the lack of music adds to this feeling. These silent scenes also make a nice contrast against the more buzzy scenes with lots of talking and even yelling.

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The acting can be considered quite good, as you will certainly develop certain kinds of feelings towards certain characters, mostly detestation, to be honest. Thomas Blanchard, who plays the part of Cédric, is very convincing all the way through, and even though you might at first think that Cédric’s thoughts are a bit off, Blanchard manages to convince you of the opposite.

For extras, it’s fun to see that you don’t get overwhelmed by the usual interview, making of or bloopers. Instead you get treated to two short films by the same director as Préjudice, Antoine Cuypers. It’s well appreciated and certainly worth the watch.


Préjudice is a film with a lot of potential, but the lack of background information makes the story more flat than it could have been. This in turn makes it difficult to see why certain characters make certain decisions, even though at the end this gets a bit clearer. Nonetheless, the story will not bore and combined with the beautiful photography, it still makes for a nice pastime.

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