Friday, May 28, 2010

Splash, Chlorine, Swimming Suites...

Naissance des Pieuvres/Water Lilies (2007) - Sciamma
A perfect Summer fling movie. Must be something to do with splashing of water, chlorine smell, tight swimsuits... A swimming pool is a perfect setting for a coming-of-age drama. For Marie (Pauline Acquart), a flat chested 15 yr old, her object of desire is not some boy but sultry Floriane (Adele Haenel), the school's synchro swim team captain who has reputation as a school slut. While her early-puberty-hit best friend Anne daydreaming about hunky François from the swim team, Marie hangs out at the synchro practice and practices her skills in the bathtub. Marie gets her ogling privileges at the practices in the swimming pool, in exchange for being a Floriane's wingman whenever she wants to hang with the boys. It turns out, Floriane's sluttiness is all but an act since no boys will dig her once they find out she's an inexperienced virgin. Floriane needs to lose her virginity fast. But to whom?

First time director Céline Sciamma has a great visual sense as well as great empathy toward her characters to handle rather a pervy material. Never fully explicit, the girl's sexual escapades don't lose its grip on reality. The friendship among the girls seem genuine and touching.

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