Samuel Benchetrit delivers a rather unexpected ode to solidarity with his fifth feature. Selected for the Special Screenings programme at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival, Macadam Stories presents three portraits of a run-down French housing project’s inhabitants, explored with a gloomy and bewitching palette.
Clinically depressed Sternkowitz (the hilarious Kervern) ends up in a wheelchair after a stationary bike accident. Lost in a hospital corridor, he crosses paths with a beautifully melancholic nurse (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) and reimagines himself as a photographer.
Lonely and neglected teenager Charly (Jules Benchetrit) assists his unemployed and adrift neighbour, 80s actress Jeanne Meyer (Isabelle Huppert), in her search for a career-revitalising role.
The quiet and caring Mrs Hamilda finds great company in lost astronaut John McKenzie (Michael Pitt), whose pod has landed on the building’s rooftop.
As we witness these three encounters and the forging of new relationships, we see that the key to a happier society may lie in opening ourselves to our neighbours, nurturing everyday interactions.