Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Soft Touch

Love Like Poison (2016) - Quillévéré
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14 year old Anna (Clara Augarde) comes home from the boarding school for the Summer. With her parents being separated, she has to contend with being with her depressed mother and a bedridden grandpa. But she is generally a good girl. She hangs with a local choir boy Pierre. Her confirmation at the church is approaching but she is having doubts, struggling with her body changing and earthly desires. Quietly being repulsed by adults' behaviors, she and perhaps us audiences learn that the line between childhood and adulthood is pretty thin.

Quilévéré's strength is in her paying attention to every character in the film, from Anna to the conflicted local priest to Ana's deadbeat father to the dirty grandpa. Also I do like Quillévéré's gentle approach. Let's face it, coming of age story is a dime a dozen in French cinema. But she has perhaps the gentlest touch in all female directors of her generation (Mia Hansen-Løve, Rebecca Zlotowski and Alice Rohrwacher come to mind).

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