Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Beauty of Youth

A Nous Amours (1983) - Pialat
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Pialat's raw, unblinking portrait of a promiscuous teen girl is one of the best growing pains films I've seen. Suzanne (Sandrine Bonnaire) is a 15-year old flirt who stays out late every night with different boys. After her stern but adoring father walks out on his family- leaving her hysterical mother and her creepy, underachieving brother to content with by herself, Suzanne goes through a series of men, leaving broken hearts everywhere. She's not the one to love but to be loved. She gets into constant, brutal physical fights with her mom and brother leaving her black and blue. Vibrant Bonnaire is a revelation. Her baby fat still intact, she is the perfect personification of the beauty of youth. Pialat himself memorably plays Suzanne's cynical, frank father who is the only one understands our heroine. Nice to see young Cyril Collard playing good-natured Jean-Pierre, one of the suckers who later gets talked into marrying Suzanne. I love Pialat's unsentimental, objective approach to this 'coming of age' story. Even though it's Suzanne's story, he never lets us forget that she's not the center of the universe. It rings much truer to me.