Our feature – Girl – Lukas Dhont
Long, thin, blonde and graceful, Lara is undeniably a girl. However the title sells us the wick: she was born a boy.
“Girl”, Lukas Dhont’s moving Belgian film, explores Lara’s new life, embodied with extraordinary verisimilitude by Viktor Polster.
Lara has just been admitted to a prestigious ballet school but she is also medically followed to transform her body into a woman. Supported by a benevolent entourage (a very understanding father, an encouraging ballet director, a respectful medical team…)
Lara literally throws herself into the dance. The images revolve around her quivering silhouette… and then find her in the locker room, her feet in blood, her male morphology painfully hidden behind strips of tape. We think of the Little Mermaid and her sacrifices.
The film ignores the usual clichés dealing with the subject. Everyone here knows Lara and her story. The purpose is not there.
It shows rather the fight against an obtuse body. Not content to be in her eyes counterfeit, her body also resists her in her desire to achieve the status of dancer. She has to hide everything, drink as little as she can, lose weight, torture her feet… She walks as hard as she can until her two goals become obstacle for each other. Lara then opts for a radical solution.
The style of a magical fluidity, in the Dardenne brothers steps, takes us from home to school, highlighting the ease of the protagonists (Belgians) to move from one language to another without thinking about it. A character trait Lara shares and supports the point.
Camera d’Or in Cannes in 2018 and having won a handful of other prestigious awards, the film has sparked controversy in transgender circles, accused of being a danger to young people on the brink of a transition. But the author does not care to explain to the curious the vagaries of a gender problem. On the contrary, the echo of the film resounds and shows how we are all confronted to a body that resists us, disappoints us, alienates us, divides us.
Divine – Houda Benyamina
A shrewd teenager and her wisecracking best friend plan to get rich or die trying by following in the footsteps of a flashy female drug dealer, Very intense and realistic movie
Faces, Places – Agnès Varda and JR
New wave director Agnès Varda and muralist JR travel together all across France plastering giant portraits of people they encounter along the way.
Nominee in 2018 – Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Just the end of the world – Xavier Dolan – Based on a play by J.L.Lagarce. In the 80s, a young man returns to announce to his family his upcoming death. But nobody wants, or cannot hear it. It is the shame of oneself that separates the members of this family in a hysterical huis-clos
La fille du patron – Olivier Lousteau
While working together, a married textile foreman and his boss’s daughter have a torrid love affair, stirring up hostility among the factory crew. Rubgy plays a role in itself, as a social link between protagonists.
Nocturama – Bertrand Bonello
After planting bombs in the streets of Paris, a group of disillusioned young people spends a tense night holed up in a high-end attacks in a department store. The first part sees them wandering in the subway and some buildings, in a cleverly deconstructed style. The second is a stylized exploration of the consumer society denounced by the first.
Belgica – Felix Van Groeningen
Two brothers become partners in a modest nightclub and turn it into the hottest spot in town, but their exhilarating run of success comes at a price.
Breathe – Melanie Laurent and Julien Lambroschini
To escape a heavy family atmosphere, a teenager takes refuge in this new friendship with a very charismatic student but their relationship will quickly become toxic
Call My Agent – Florence Herrero – THE French series to watch! all 3 seasons available
Mixing comedy and drama, the series describes the life of a prestigious talent agency. On each episode, a movie star plays her own role with some self-mockery; From Jean Dujardin to Isabelle Adjani, Marion Cotillard, Monica Bellucci and so may more famous French actors.