26 November 2014 | lazarillo
Needs some English subs, but still rewarding
I recently saw this French movie on TV Monde USA. Most French-language movies on that channel have English subtitles, but this one had FRENCH subtitles (apparently for the benefit of all the hearing-impaired Francophones who live in the US, but can't read English). Needless to say, I didn't follow the plot too well, but since no one else has reviewed this yet. . .
This movie is about a precocious, provincial French teenager(Adele Exarchopolous)who likes to document everyone around her with a video camera. This includes her family--a chronically ill mother, a moody father, and a pregnant older sister who arrives from Paris with her new beau (or husband?). The protagonist is also kind of a tomboy with almost exclusively male friends (none of whom really seems to notice that she's smoking hot), so she also documents their troubled lives. One is a pretty boy with and unusually close relationship with his mother and violent relationship with his (step?)father. One seems to like to abuse animals. And the third is a weird Scottish kid who wears a kilt and occasionally speaks in English. He also does weird things like lie down in the middle of a road (but he's also the only one to do the completely understandable thing and have off-screen sex with our nubile documentarian).
This is strangely sex-free for a French movie, especially given the actress who plays the mother, Zabou Breitman, is most famous for playing Tawny Kitaen's sidekick in the softcore porn/nudie fantasy "The Perils of Gwendoline". That was 20 years ago though and even in French I can tell she's become a vastly better actress in the years since. Then there's the lead, an 18-year-old Adele Exarchopolous, who would go on a year later to do "Blue is the Warmest Color". But I think too much has been made of the graphic sex scenes in that movie and too little has been made about what an incredibly natural actress Adele E. is. She has a very expressive face and is one of the most talented non-verbal actresses I've ever seen (which is useful here since I didn't understand a lot of what she said verbally). She's incredibly photogenic and frankly she's more appealing with her clothes on than most women are with them off.
The title of this seems to come not only from here on-going, and rather elliptical, "documentary", but also a couple memorable montages of this young French beauty lying in the bathtub with the camera lingering on various "pieces of her". They're actually not the pieces most males really want to see most (for that you should watch "Blue"), but they're more unusual pieces (knees, wrists, shoulders), and really EVERYTHING about this particular girl is beautiful. To some extent, this is also true of this movie, which is slow and elliptical, but also beautiful and rewarding (even with no English subs).