Georges has a thing for his new jacket. It’s 100% deerskin—made in Italy—and he loves it. He might even be in love with it. And though the fringes are ridiculous and it doesn’t quite fit him, Georges sees nothing but killer style reflected in the mirror. Slipping it on over his dumpy button-up, Georges feels a new Georges, long-dormant, emanating from within. And when the jacket starts talking to Georges, the transformation becomes complete.
Deerskin, from writer/director Quentin Dupieux, feels a little bit more like a provocation than a fully formed story. The jacket Georges wears is made from the skin of an animal, once living now dead. There’s a parallel here between Georges deerskin jacket and the jackets Georges steals from the residents of this small French mountain town, but sometimes parallels only appear when nothing else will.
The story is not much deeper: Georges (Jean Dujardin) shows up in this mountain town with his jacket and a video camera. He tells the local bartender, Denise (Adèle Hanel), he’s a director from a large studio. What luck, she’s an editor—or wants to be. Georges is a wanna-be director; they make a perfect pair.
Then the jacket starts talking, and Denise starts directing. Georges is pretty good at following orders, and Dupieux’s camera is pretty good at staying out of the mix.
Deerskin is an odd little piece of work, bloody too. It’s also a movie with a fetishistic love for the color brown. The coat is brown, the pants are brown, the gloves are brown, the lodge is brown, even Denise’s outfit is tip-to-toe brown. Plus, it’s the dead of winter, so even the world outside looks brown. There’s humor hiding somewhere between these varying shades of brown; you might be able to find it if you look hard enough—if you care enough to look.
Written and directed by Quentin Dupieux
Produced by Mathieu Verhaeghe, Thomas Verhaeghe
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Marie Bunel, Caroline Piette
Greenwich Entertainment, Not Rated, Running time 77 minutes, Streaming.