23 May 2019 | Radu_A
It's not THAT bad
Judging by the rating, one might thing this is a complete disaster, but it's obviously voted down because it's about an Arab woman taking semi-nudes of Arab men.
To be sure, the story is a little weird: Amal's husband is killed in a car accident in front of her studio, just as she is reviewing her collection of auto portraits with her father-in-law. He offers to take her in and finance her art, at first seemingly without second thoughts. However, when he finds out she has started to take portraits of men, he - as many others - take her for b**** in heat. Amal stands her ground, with him and others, starts a new relationship with an arts professor who accepts what she does, and eventually reconciles with her father-in-law.
That could be quite interesting, but the actors are stiff and it's a bit unrealistic how she can talk herself out of extremely menacing situations resulting from her hobby. She displays a mind-boggling naivety when it comes to talking to strangers. There are some good points, like when one of her rich friends slaps her at a party, because underneath all that French, high society tolerance towards female freedom is just as limited as in the lower classes, they just pretend harder. But Amal's character is implausible - she lives off others, yet insists on independence; she is an artist, yet makes no effort to exhibit, and the ending leaves no hint as to where she's going (literally).
The gay director includes some gratuitous homoerotic shots, it's beautifully filmed overall, and the topic makes it worth seeing. However, it does seem rather artificial, the script is weak, and the cast isn't very impressive.