Sibyl 2019 movie

Sibyl – An Attractive Reimagination Of Life, Romance And Melancholy

Today we follow the tragic/comic adventures of Sibyl, a seemingly successful and confident woman who ends up in a dark existential crisis during this 2019 movie.

The story begins with her decision to quit her therapeutic profession to pursue the dream of becoming a writer, although from the outset, a colleague advises her against entering a harsh and competition-saturated world like publishing.

Even worse is the reaction of some of her patients, enraged and desperate to avoid starting years of therapy again with a new doctor they do not know.

Eventually, she manages to get rid of all of them except young Margot, a charming actress struggling with anguish about her pregnancy.

Indeed, the father is the lead actor in a movie that should begin shooting soon in Italy, where she will stay on an island with the crew until it becomes apparent she is expecting a child.

On her side, Sibyl takes advantage of this girl’s emotional power by using her as an inspiration to write a novel.

Despite her professional detachment, she cannot avoid plunging into an emotional maelstrom when her dark past, in many senses similar to Margot’s, comes back to haunt her.

The doubt consumes Margot about whether to have an abortion, albeit longing for a child but unable to risk failure in this job, which could be that career breakthrough she has been waiting for all her life.

Wishing to help her, the therapist/writer decides to join the cinema crew in Italy, hoping to comfort the actress at that difficult time.

Except owing to the bitter hostility between her and the lady director of the movie, Sibyl becomes an intermediary between two women who do not speak to each other and is sexually attracted to the actor who got her patient into trouble.

Too much is better than nothing

My primary impression about this story is that its main virtue and issue are the same thing: wanting to show and tell so many (too many?) different kinds of stuff.

Along with the characters in this 2019 movie, I found myself going through multiple phases with them, starting with the main character, the funny and intelligent psychologist (and psychotic), Sibyl.

Through several radical transformations, personal and professional, everything seems pointless when things go back to how they were initially. Still, one should recognize the knowledge of having changed profoundly.

Similarly, director Justine Triet sometimes seems unsure of what mood to adopt throughout the film, hopping between comedy, drama, and a strange love story or revealing some of the mechanisms of cinema itself on both sides of the camera.

I understand how this excess of so many elements may confuse and alienate some viewers, who indeed reviewed this movie with disappointment.

Admittedly, the script’s pacing, written by the director, Arthur Harari, and David H. Pickering, is not always smooth and well-calibrated in every scene.

For example, some of the main character’s flashbacks could have been avoided since they almost always talk about the same subject.

Nevertheless, I can see how the plot follows a definite logic, this catharsis between doctor and patient being so intense that Sibyl ends up more a source of problems than a solution to the ills afflicting the unfortunate Margot.

However, I can hardly agree with those labeling the film as depressing because there is hopefulness and a positive essence even in the darkest moments.

Who hasn’t experienced something similar, coping with difficult and awkward moments that, at the moment, seem disastrous to us? But once they pass, we can even look back on the past with a smile.

The strangest road for a Rom-Com

Of course, as from the title, the leading star of this 2019 movie is Sibyl, played by the beautiful and quirky Virginie Efira.

The main character’s unusual peculiarity lies in her seeming normality; she is actually even freaky than her patients.

Her profession in the field of mental health, however, allows her to disguise her eccentricity cleverly.

A peculiar feature of the film is the relationship between the protagonist and her sister Édith, brought to the screen with perfect ambiguity by Laure Calamy.

In some circumstances, she seems sincerely intent on helping her, while at other times, she even manipulates her children against her.

Her interaction with her companion Étienne, played by the charming and calm Paul Hamy, becomes even more complex as her mental confusion intensifies, she begins to confuse him with her former lover Gabriel, the enthusiastic young Niels Schneider.

This intricate family dynamic merges inextricably with the situation involving Margot, the beautiful and melancholy Adèle Exarchopoulos.

From another perspective, the love triangle between her and director Mika is interesting, portrayed by the energetic American Sandra Hüller, which finally becomes a sentimental four-way affair when Sibyl indulges in the male apex of these women, namely the sexy Igor, played by Gaspard Ulliel.

The unforgettable French performer gives a charming and humble performance, facing the most awkward situations without hesitation, always coming out with a touch of elegance and luck.

Approaching the conclusion, I hope to shed light on the reasons behind the differences in opinions about this film, giving rise to varied debates and interpretations.

This movie is a bizarre cinematic experiment taking roads less beaten. Despite its imperfections, it is vital to acknowledge the boldness of filmmaker Justine Triet to abandon the traditional standards of romantic comedies.

Opting instead for an innovative and personal approach, she let a vision probably brooding within her for some time drive her. Thus, she delivered to the audience a cinematic experience that is undoubtedly flawed yet also unique and thought-provoking, deserving of discussion and evaluation in its many facets.

Amazon Prime Video
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