13 January 2017 | manders_steve
Well crafted, quirky French take on not quite fitting in, but not knowing why
This film was reported as receiving the greatest audience support in 27 years of the Alliance Françoise film festival, and while it's an entertainingly competent film, I'm not sure it's in the quarter-of- a-century-best type realm.
It's a tale of mid 30s hairdresser Vincent's obsession with slightly older Rosalie, and the unlikely series of circumstances which both led to his feelings and unfold with the film's narrative. The involvement of Rosalie's niece Aude (Alice Isaaz) and her two friends brings both the three sad sacks Vincent, Rosalie, Simone (Vincent's mother) and the film to life, and this contrast is a strength. We get more than one perspective on quite a proportion of the film, and while this ultimately worked, initially it seemed repetitive before I'd worked out what was going on. While the set up seems a bit slow, it provides good solid background for many of the characters and the overall situation.
The French village scenes and occasional long view are lovely, particularly with the cool colours of winter and long low twilight ambiance.
The story comes from Camille Jourdy's graphic novels 'Rosalie Blum' and it could be this is the source of the film's greatest strengths but also weaknesses. If you're making a film based on a book, current expectation is to stick to the book. Omit, as necessary maybe, but don't add. I've not read (viewed?) these graphic novels, but somehow I found the story line just a wee bit too circumstantial or inadequately portrayed to be really riveting.