She is one of the essential faces of French cinema. In “Nothing to Lose” in theaters this Wednesday, Virginie Efira plays a single mother deprived of her children. A poignant and powerful role that matches the talent of the actress.
It must have been an ordinary evening. But a deep fryer ignited the situation. “Everything was fine and bam!”, as Sylvie, played by Virginie Efira, points out. In the social drama “Nothing to Lose”, this mother and widow works in a night bar in Brest. To make ends meet, she relies on the help of her eldest to watch her little brother in her absence. One evening, the latter, left unsupervised, decides to prepare some fries, but gets second degree burns.
What initially appears to be just a simple domestic accident ultimately leads this atypical family into a veritable descent into hell. Sylvie receives a visit from social services who suspect her of abuse. Sofiane, her youngest son, is placed in a foster home for an indefinite period. From then on, a long fight began to regain his custody despite the suspicions – more or less well-founded – of the administration. Like a warrior, this courageous mother fights like a lioness to prove her good faith, but cannot hide her fragilities and her anxieties in the face of a world that is collapsing. Although she loves them, Sylvie is deemed unfit to raise her children, and the noose gradually tightens on her.
Brilliant and convincing actors
Accustomed to documentaries, director Delphine Deloget, who received the Albert-Londres prize in 2015 with Cécile Allegra for a report on the Eritreans in Sinai, brilliantly succeeds in her transition to fiction with this moving first feature film which avoids miserabilism . The film, which moved the Croisette last May during the Cannes Film Festival, is inspired by testimonies from parents who have been in the sights of Child Welfare. From this observation, the director draws the portrait of a woman who “spins and falls onto the side of the road”.
Virginie Efira, who also stars in the series “Everything is OK” on Disney+, delivers a moving and nuanced performance. Opposite her, supporting roles that stand out on the screen, like India Hair, masterful in the role of the social worker, or Félix Lefebvre, convincing as a bruised big brother who tries as best he can to support his mother while emancipating himself. “Nothing to Lose” questions and upsets, without ever giving lessons.
Gn Fr Enter