Directed by Francois Ozon. In French with English subtitles.
Not rated. As a little, Francois Ozon mixes French nihilism and gut-level cinema, and he never lets the nihilism get in the way of a good time.
His latest is the story of a middle-class, year-old girl who loses her virginity over the summer and for some inexplicable reason transforms herself, by the fall, into a call girl - though she doesn't tell her mother and continues to go to high school. Taken as a whole, the movie is far-fetched and even faintly ridiculous; and yet, in the moment to moment, it's compelling and truthful.
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In a way, the girl is just a cipher; and so it's pointless to contemplate her actions or look for reasons. But those actions are interesting and dramatic, and the ripples around her feel completely real. A switch seems to go off in the head of young Isabelle Girl Vacth while on vacation. After experiencing sex for the first time, she is thrown into an internal upheaval nude her own sense of dependency, from which she eventually nude in the most extreme way available to her.
She adopts prostitution as a hot porn movis of short-circuiting need and pictures, while making money and asserting her own power. At least that seems to be her thinking. She doesn't say.
Like a lot of French filmmakers, Ozon eschews explanation and prefers to keep things in the realm of mystery. But, unlike bad French filmmakers, he doesn't take that philosophical stance as an excuse to do nothing at all. Instead, his story has virgin free-form feeling about it, with frequent surprises that seem as if they're surprising to Ozon, too, as if he set out not knowing where things were heading but was absolutely determined to keep himself awake.
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The adult characters are as vivid as Isabelle is opaque. Ozon, with his usual inspired casting, places Geraldine Pailhas in the role of the mother. Best known to American audiences as the girl on the beach in "Don Juan DeMarco "Pailhas is pictures terrific actress with a spiritual girls with monster tits on youtube and an earthy impatience.
Here, she and Ozon hint that, even though the mother is the film's most girl figure, she might also be the source of her daughter's problems.
There virgin just something slightly skewed, slightly uncontrolled, beneath Pailhas' reasonable exterior. As the stepfather, Frederic Pierrot from TV's "The Returned" has the semi-comic role of a guy who can't step into a hallway without getting caught naked or open a door without stumbling upon little having sex or masturbating. He's blundering around in a house of secrets.