Synopsis by Ryan Shriver
French director Alain Cavalier ventures into pseudo-documentary territory with his 2002 film René. Purportedly concocted as a means for Cavalier to help actor Joël Lefrançois lose weight while not making a straight documentary about Lefrançois' ordeal, René instead focuses on fictional children's theater actor René (Lefrançois) from provincial France who is undergoing a bit of a personal crisis. Having just been abandoned by his girlfriend, René decides dieting is the only way to win back her love. The portly actor proceeds to reevaluate his old lifestyle in order to meet his goal of shedding pounds, and in the process, he gets a chance to revise his personality and examine his life from an entirely different point of view. It should be noted that over the course of filming, Lefrançois did actually lose nearly 70 pounds. René was in competition at the 2002 Locarno International Film Festival.