We saw a brilliant comedy by Laetitia Dosch with Jean-Pascal Zadi, François Damiens and a dog

Laetitia Dosch’s first feature film, “The Trial of the Dog” is a great success. A brilliant comedy inspired by an improbable trial, and which questions our society.

The Trial of the Dog : a successful first feature for Laetitia Dosch

We knew the acting talent of Laetitia Dosch since its revelation in 2017 in Young woman, presented at the time at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and awarded the Caméra d’or. It is in this same section that the actress returned to the Croisette with The Trial of the Dogbut this time with, also, the cap of director. A first feature film that he asked for 4 years of work.

On paper, we expected a nice, slightly offbeat comedy to tell the true story of the owner of a dog accused of repeated bites and who was at the center ofa highly publicized trial in Switzerland in 2015. “ People had made petitions, got very involved, confronted », indicated Laetitia Dosch in an interview for the Cannes Festival, already opening up the field of possibilities for go beyond the simple farce. Of course, we have fun all along The Trial of the Dogbut the film quickly moves past its wacky situation.

A funny and intelligent comedy

Laetitia Dosch an undeniable comic genius, as much in its writing (co-written with Anne-Sophie Bailly) as in its interpretation and its production choices. Here she plays the role of Avril, a lawyer who has a string of hopeless cases and the failures that go with them. A friendly, fair and emotional woman, exactly as we imagine the actress. Through a voice-over, her own, she shares her character’s thoughts and thus shows her uncertainties, her anger and her difficulties in acting as she would like. Like when she announces that she will speak in a deep and confident voice, but that quite the opposite happens.

Laetitia Dosch – The Trial of the Dog ©Bande à Part Productions

It is thus the authentic portrait of a woman today with whom anyone can identify. At his side, we find a François Damiens, as always excellent, in the role of the visually impaired master. But also Jean-Pascal Zadi, a brilliant trainer, responsible for taking care of the animal during its trial. It is moreover, initially, through him that our relationship with the dog will be questioned. And from there will flow much more in-depth reflections on our society.

Intelligently, Laetitia Dosch entertains as much as she makes you think about questions of consent, the place of women, the difficulty of revolting (Avril is harassed by her boss) and our humanity as a whole. Because this “simple” dog trial divides public opinion. In particular, when the civil party points out a supposed misogyny of the animal which, until now, has only attacked women. What could have been another absurdity causes real chaos in a society ready to burst into flames – with a worrying rise in fascism.

The Trial of the Dog ©Bande à Part Productions

This might all seem a little too big. But the mastery of Laetitia Dosch with The Trial of the Dog allows you to maintain a perfect balance. A balance which gives a sparkling and intelligent comedy, which even manages to upset at the moment of the verdict. A comedy ” absurd, confusing and raising a lot of questions », Laetitia Dosch would even say. We couldn’t say it better.

The Trial of the Dog by Laetitia Dosch will be released in theaters September 11, 2024. The film was presented at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard selection.

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