Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hurting Game

La Belle Personne/The Beautiful Person (2008) - Honoré
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Juni (Léa Seydoux) is a new girl in school. She's Mathias's cousin who lost her mom not long ago. Mathias and his gang of friends are poised to set her up with saintly Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet of Love Songs). She also attracts the attention of her handsome, playboy Italian class teacher Nemours (Louis Garrel). Thrown in this Shakespearean melodrama, sullen Juni needs to figure out what she wants without hurting anyone and getting hurt herself. Otto doesn't understand why for Juni, it's not love at first sight like for him. Nemours breaks off all his female relationships in pursuit of Juni. He intellectually understands that she will never fall for him, but can't stop pursuing her. After reading a love letter that was mistakenly identified as written by Nemours, Juni makes up her mind.

Seydoux's loveliness dominates most of La Belle Personne. Her downcasted eyes, her melancholic expression suggest deep mystery. No she's not a naif, unlike the observation of a cafe owner, that teenage girls are as delicate as a glass (in warning Nemours). No matter what the circumstance, she is stronger than you and she can destroy you if she wants to. She is infinitely wiser than you. She understands that love doesn't last long and if she falls for it, it might hurt her. So she resists. Honoré too understands, about fleeting nature of love and its unfairness. His love stories are always sad, but also beautiful.

My interview with Christophe Honoré
Les bien-aimes/Beloved review
Les chansons d'amour/Love Songs review

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