Friday, September 28, 2012

Bye Bye Blondie

I find films directed by Virginie Despentes quite unpleasant to watch, especially Baise Moi but also Les Jolies Choses which she did not direct, did not wrote the screenplay but was based on her novel. This film is not like those as while still having some very unpleasant moments, definitively she toned down -a lot- from her directorial debut and made film easier to watch.

Most surprising was to find that movie is based on her book with the same name but in book the protagonists are a man and a woman, while in movie are two women. Have no idea why Despentes changed the story but definitively if this was a man/woman story would have been similar to many other stories told in films; what makes story different is that is about two women.

I see everything with Emmanuelle Béart so film was must be seen for me because of her and well, yes because is absolutely with lesbian interest. The bad news is that this film is NOT fantastic Nathalie, did not enjoyed much Béart performance (that's what happens with an inexperienced director) and found story not that much interesting.

Film tells the story of Frances and Gloria who meet when they are teenagers, fall in love, life separates them and when they're older Frances looks for and finds Gloria again. So older Frances is played by Béart and older Gloria by Béatrice Dalle; this couple have no chemistry, their interactions look forced BUT chemistry explodes when they fight, which are the only scenes where I recognized the Béart I enjoy so much.

The good news is that story is not told sequentially as their younger years are told by flashbacks, but what is incredibly good are the performances by Clara Ponsot (teen Frances) and Soko (teen Gloria) as couple not only has good chemistry but somehow their story is a lot more interesting. Just to watch Béart fighting and the younger couple film is worth watching.

Will share a bit more about story. Younger Gloria is punk, which gives permission to play some nice old punk rock and later some retro punk scenes with a famous French punk icon, so she's rebellious and ends up in a psychiatric institution. There is where she meets younger Frances who dares Gloria to have sex with her as is forbidden by the institution. What follows you have to watch, but will share that while watching started to think that story was about two different backgrounds, about love not being enough and I was sure that was what I was seeing until the "shocking" end that absolutely surprised me. In French cinema not often you will see a film ending like this film does.

Found film as a film to be uneven, some scenes have good tech specs while many others don't. I know this is unthinkable/unforgivable in French cinema but for the lesbian interest genre unfortunately is quite common, so know that won't bother at all to those watching because they enjoy the genre.

Having two well-known French actresses in film, Béart and Dalle, plus famous singer Soko, attracted much attention from critics and viewers, but I'm afraid that this film is only suited for lesbian interest audiences that do not mind to see "unusual" French movies. Sigh.

Can't say I did not enjoy film but also cannot say that I enjoy it. I'm lukewarm as after all film looks and feels like a Virginie Despentes film; all right, a slightly improved Despentes.


Watch trailer @MOC

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