by / August 8th, 2012 /


Review by on August 8th, 2012

 2/5 Rating

Director: Florent Emilio-Siri
Cast: Jérémie Renier, Josephinie Japy, Monica Scattini
Certificate: TBC
Running Time: 148 min
Release: 29 June

Cloclo is Claude François, the French pop star who wrote the song that became ‘My Way’. Mostly though, he made an incredibly successful career out of creating French adaptations of English language songs, be they by the Everly Brothers or The Beatles or The Supremes. He had a difficult(ish) upbringing and died young(ish). He was a very pretty man.

It sounds reductive, and that’s very much the point; for all its indulgences and excellently staged live numbers, the film never manages to elevate François beyond the realm of obscure pub quiz trivia. He was rich, then he was poor, and he had to struggle for what he wanted. His success wasn’t easy to come by. It made him something of a philandering idiot. As result, he takes on a measure of arrogance roughly analogous with being a bit of a shit. All shocking revelations, I know.

Had Cloclo been as superficial (and predictable) as it is, but only been 90 minutes long, it would be completely fine (see: Goon), and actually very entertaining as the live shows are terrifically realised and have a genuine sheen of cool, even if the inherent cheesiness has dated rather worse than the film likes to let on. However, it’s indulgent and way, way too long at over two hours, and if it weren’t for Jérémie Renier (not Hawkeye) being magnetic and despicable and enthralling all at once there’d be nothing at all to recommend.

If you’re bored of biopics, Cloclo is by no means the cure. If you can get past that, there is a truly incredible performance on show here, it’s just a shame that the film does little to deserve it.