Dienstag, 1. Oktober 2013

Filmfest Hamburg: Jeune & jolie

François Ozon's "Jeune & jolie" wobbles a little in the beginning, failing to pick up momentum with somewhat awkwardly put together short scenes, and goes through another rough patch in the middle, as things first blow up and the immediate fallout rings false. However, if there's one thing the French provocateur does well, it's bringing to life the mystifying mechanics of sexuality and the debilitating power of desire. Here, on the strength of a committed, seductive, surprisingly layered performance by Marine Vacth as the well-to-do teenager who begins a prostitution career, the movie leaves a lot of the why's out of her words and in her wistful glances and hints of a smile, addressing in the process somehow all the more beautifully the impossibility of explaining a young girl's sexual awakening.

The script is not as tidy nor exacting as that of " Dans la maison", but this film takes another route into the obsessive depth of the human mind. The result, more suggestive and often unreadable, is nonetheless fascinating and delivers in my view a more potent portrait of lust, addiction and identity than, say, Steve McQueen's "Shame".

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