Bye Bye, Morons (Original title: Adieu les Cons) is a French comedy-drama that stars and is directed by Irréversible actor Albert Dupontel. The film follows forty-something hairdresser Suze (Virginie Efira) who decides to go looking for her long-lost child with two eccentric characters, namely overworked IT worker Jean-Baptiste (Dupontel) and blind archivist Mr Blin (Nicolas Marié).
When Bye Bye, Morons starts, Sara finds herself diagnosed with a terminal illness with no clear timeframe as to how long she has left, which inspires her to find the child she was forced to give up 30 years ago. In addition, Jean-Baptiste is working tirelessly and on his own to tighten the cybersecurity measures at a government office, only to be reassigned when his boss decides to favour youth over experience. Sara and Jean-Baptiste’s paths cross when a suicide attempt goes haywire, causing misunderstood chaos and forcing them to work together to not only find Sara’s child but clear Jean-Baptiste’s name. This partnership strengthens when they meet archivist Blin, who works on his own in an unlit, windowless filing room yet, despite his blindness, haplessly flirts with Sara and supports her on her search.
In terms of narrative, Bye Bye, Morons is dominated by Suze’s quest. From her initial diagnosis to the fruitless visit to social services, her need for closure in finding her child overshadows the development of the other characters. Jean-Baptiste is willing to put his innocence aside to help her and Blin is just grateful that he is out of the filing room. Therefore, these comical touches cuts the poignancy of Sara’s search, especially considering the severity of her illness, and the film loses its way between comedy and drama. To that respect, Dupontel’s screenplay bounces from chucklesome and heartwarming, creating an inconsistent tone that also affects its visuals so Bye Bye, Morons becomes an imbalanced melee of sporadic special effects and intimate interactions.
However, Bye Bye, Morons is ultimately anchored by its protagonists. Regardless of their tragic circumstances, Sara and Jean-Baptiste do not use theirs to manipulate others. Instead, they form an unlikely friendship that constantly challenges the authorities that have ignored and failed them. As the trio encounters twists and turns, their mutual acceptance and recognition solidify their friendship, which makes it – along with the leads’ charming performances – the heart of the film.
As the winner of seven César Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, the anticipation for Bye Bye, Morons is high. But it is far from dramatic or epic – instead, the film is an ambitious caper that tries to achieve a lot in its 88-minute runtime.
Bye Bye, Morons will be released in selected cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from 23rd July.
Director: Albert Dupontel
Stars: Virginie Efira, Albert Dupontel, Nicolas Marié
Runtime: 88 minutes