* * * 1/2
Quentin Dupieux is an acquired taste, and worth acquiring. He’s known for ‘weird’ subjects – Rubber, his breakthrough film, features a car tire as a protagonist – but deadpan humour is truly his stock in trade. Deerskin, in its very Dupieux way, is emblematic of his sense of humour and his willingness to embrace unorthodox subject matter. It also, like Rubber, embraces fetishism, in this case, rather than a tire, a cool deerskin jacket.
Here, though, the jacket is simply the object of desire; the protagonist, Georges (played beautifully by The Artist’s Jean Dujardin) buys it to seemingly fulfil the emptiness of his life, from which he’s on the run. He blows his savings on it, then settles into a provincial hotel to live with it, presumably aiming for Happily Ever After.
Instead, he meets barmaid Denise, and things get simultaneously hopeful and hopeless. Denise is played by French Treasure Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady On Fire), and the two of them develop an engaging, twisted chemistry. To say more would be to spoil, except that the film is gorgeous to look at, and not actually about a jacket.