The Worst Ones

Directed by Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret

Release Year: 2023
Running time: 99
Country: France
Language: French with English subtitiles
Genres: Drama
$15.96 - Classroom Rights
MSRP: $19.95
$349.00 - With PPR
$499.00 - With DSL
$499.00 - With DSL and PPR
MSRP: $599.00
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Directed by: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret

Set in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France, The Worst Ones captures a film within a film as it follows the production of a feature whose director turns to the local Cité Picasso housing project for casting. Eager to capture performances of gritty authenticity, the director selects four working class teenagers to act in the film to the surprise and consternation of the local community, who question the director’s choice of “the worst ones.” As the director and crew audition, rehearse, film, and interact with their hand-picked cast, jealousies are stoked, lines are crossed, and ethical questions arise, with thought-provoking and at times darkly funny results. Winner of the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, The Worst Ones announces directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret as exciting new voices in French cinema.


"Critic’s Pick! Luminously photographed and nimbly edited... offers a provocative critique of filmmaking practices."

- Lisa Kennedy, The New York Times

“Thought-provoking and darkly funny… a fascinating look at the filming experience.”

- Anna Smith, Deadline

“Carried by very engaging young performers… the film has a real heart that beats wildly.”

- Fabian Lemercier, Cineuropa

"Limber French filmmaking… with dark humor and occasionally confrontational candor. Find[s] artistry and honor where others tend not to look."

- Guy Lodge, Variety

“Deeply insightful... a remarkable achievement of filmmaking and human compassion.”

- Mina Takla, Awards Watch

“A self-aware film that features sensitive performances, a touching emotional arc, and compelling commentary on the social responsibilities of filmmakers.”

- Jaden S. Thompson, Harvard Crimson

“The film is made compelling by its own immaculate casting.”

- Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

“Sensitive, intelligent filmmaking.”

- Chris Mello, In Review Online

“Akoka and Gueret find sharp insights in the imposition of a film shoot on those involved… an incredible addition to the canon."

- Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest


Winner: Un Certain Regard – Cannes Film Festival


Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival


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