Set in La Ciotat, France, 'The Workshop' centres around Antoine (Matthieu Lucci), a teenager who attends a summer writing workshop. Alongside a group of similarly budding scribes, Antoine is tasked with writing a noirish crime thriller under the tutelage of celebrated novelist Olivia Dejazet (Marina Foi's), on the basis that the final piece is connected with the industrial past of their quiet hometown. While the class set about their projects, Olivia is gradually captivated by Antoine's growing indifferent and aggressive behaviour, as well as his anxieties about the modern world. This is reflected in his writing, which becomes more violent and disturbing in its depiction of a mass murderer whose politically radicalist leanings Antoine begins to sympathise with. 'The Workshop' is a riveting contemporary drama that blends social commentary with a complex study of the modern world.
The film feels like it was cobbled together at a workshop brainstorming session as in the movie. It is very wordy - tries to address radicalism, racism and right wing extremism, but it all adds up to little more than teenage angst.
French independent film, simple, low budget, relies on script and character development.
I really enjoyed this film and I found it to be thoughtfully produced and directed.
The film was made using locals who had in some cases, never acted before. There is an excellent and very interesting "interview with actors and director" section where the director explains his approach and reasons for working this way. I watched it after the film.