“With this closely observed double portrait of an aging French film star and the young Black woman he hires as his new bodyguard, first-time feature writer-director Constance Meyer breathes new life into the odd couple theme, bearing witness to a passing of the torch from the legendary Gérard Depardieu to the formidable young actress Déborah Lukumuéna. Film fans will rejoice to see Depardieu return to the kind of shockingly vulnerable performance that made his reputation many decades ago. The real thrill, however, is to see Lukumuéna go head to head with him. Those who watch both Robust and The Braves, this year’s other YFC selection starring Lukumuéna, will be stunned by the range of her talent. Depardieu has too often been reduced to tabloid fodder in recent years, but he is here at his most generous, sensitive best, lending his legendary charisma to a warts and all picture of Georges, a capricious superstar who realizes how disconnected he has become through his unexpected bond with Lukumuéna’s no-nonsense private security agent Aïssa. Shaping both performances, Meyer’s assured direction shows a sharp eye for detail and a subtle empathy that gives this film about urban loneliness an unexpected warmth. ” -Young French Cinema
Robust is part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine.