Baby oh baby, infants with angel’s wings make for one hell of a parable, even if its ultimate meaning is elusive (or maybe just obtuse to some eyes). 42-year-old French writer-director François Ozon’s eleventh feature in eleven years continues to anatomize the structures of family as he has in recent years. Earlier movies like the mid-length “See the Sea” (1997) and 2004’s “5×2” were more piercing in their examinations of family dynamics, but there’s something shy of sinister still at work here. “Ricky” starts among co-workers on a factory floor in a Dardenne-style working atmosphere, introducing Katie (Alexandra Lamy) and Spanish immigrant Paco (Sergi Lopez), who spark and soon start a family. The world changes when little Ricky reveals unexpected attributes. This scrap of magical maternalism, adapted from Rose Tremain’s short story, “Moth,” alternates gritty family dynamics with media hysteria over this dun-winged infant. I’m partial to Ozon’s play with projection and unexplained mysteries; others may well shrug at this shaggy cherub tale. 90m. 35mm. (Ray Pride)
“Ricky” opens Friday at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.