Inspired by remarkable true events, multi award-winning writer Emmanuel Courcol’s rousing, Cannes-selected directorial debut follows a dedicated out-of-work actor (indelibly played by the fabulous Kad Merad) whose career and life prospects unexpectedly change.
Disillusioned and divorced middle-aged thespian Étienne (Merad) accepts an arts rehabilitation role, leading a theatre workshop group at a correctional facility, under the watchful eye of open-minded but cautious warden Ariane (Marina Hands). His program attracts a motley group, and Étienne, surprised by the raw talent he unearths, comes up with the idea of workshopping Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”. To the surprise of many, the play’s existential themes prove to be a natural fit for the inmates, and the connection between the cast and their kind-hearted director grows stronger with every rehearsal… though not without exception, and some very unexpected ramifications.
To spoil what develops would be criminal, but when the story of the real theatre troupe’s exploits went viral worldwide, Samuel Beckett himself commented: “That’s the best thing that happened to this play since I wrote it!”.
Inscribed with intelligence and humour, THE BIG HIT was named Best Comedy of 2020 at this year’s European Film Awards. It’s a deeply empathetic celebration of camaraderie, faith in others (and oneself), and the liberating power of art.