Speaking of Adèle Exarchopoulos:
Her glorified cameos in Quentin Dupieux’s last two movies — Mandibles and the new Smoking Causes Coughing — continue a noble cinematic tradition: when a luminary with the wattage to lead an entire movie decides to let their freakier flags fly in service of nuttiness.
Adèle Exarchopoulos is incontrovertibly a star; she can command an entire movie. But this capability is customarily tied to limitations; with rare exceptions, because a main character anchors a movie, fully-formed dictates are placed upon a thespian that prevent them from going full gonzo.
Which is why Quentin Dupieux’s signature absurdism probably feels refreshing to Adèle. Because the movie doesn’t fall on her shoulders, this peripheral position allows her to throw abandon to the wind, matching the ratcheted-up vision of a wilder auteur.
It’s a breath of askew air within the confines of a headline career, showcasing the extremist range of her talents. Plus, there’s now an ongoing conversation in terms of how Dupieux chooses to utilize her bananas from movie to movie, in dialogue with past deployments.