The film has unlikeable characters. I would guess film was made to highlight feminist issues: the teen girls slut shame each other for sex while hypocritically are eager to lose their virginity with guys they don't like. The guys are one dimensional and do little but pose and be overly aggressive and gropy. The girls are mean to each other, inspired by problems at home. There is little catharsis from these issues.
I gave up. 20 mins into the movie. It's unwatchable: One long sequence of unbelievably obnoxious characters who sexually taunt, harass and insult each others. The guys are all disgusting. And the girls are all vapid. No depth. If this is truly what being a 14 year old school kid in France today, "Eh bein, Bravo la France!"
Gets the feelings of being a teenager right. They're irritating, hormonal monsters lashing out at whatever doesn't fit their tiny worldview. But it contextualizes it with boredom, sexual awakening, and family friction. So the characters are sympathetic because we get a sense of the confusion they feel in this setting. But it wasn't until one character shows magnanimity to another I thought, "They don't seem so bad."
Non-sensationalistic and free of arthouse stylisation/self-consciousness, it sometimes looked a bit like it's for TV, but that somehow makes it seem realer, more down to earth, more true to life. A great modest movie with some really good, sensitive performances that's about girls' friendships, female bravado, school power plays, the scariness of sex, parent-child frustrations and the persecution complex of being 14.
3.5/5. It is not only about being 14 and the relations between boys and girls. It is also about being grown up, discovering oneself, having experiences, disappointments, relationships between parents and daughters. For me, it is noteworthy to think of the relationship between mothers and daughters especially during those years.
I hated the likes of Thirteen and Megan Is Missing, yet I ended up quite enjoying Being 14. Perhaps it was because the bad behaviour was tempered by more enjoyable moments. Perhaps it was because of the way in which the French seem to treat their teenagers and children in a less condescending manner. Perhaps I just enjoyed the writing/direction from Helene Zimmer more, and the lead performance from Athalia Routier.
C'est difficile d'être des adolescents - et bien aussi leurs parents - surtout en ces temps: l'intimidation et l'humiliation parmi les plus jeunes, c'est à la une, jour après jour. Mais à ce sujet on pourrait dire beaucoup plus, et mieux. Dommage pour l'opportunité ratée.
"how do you know what I think?" That sums up the film. About much more than being 14. It is a representation of society, kids pulled and pushed, dictated to, not listened to. Governed by big babies who call themselves adults and who are just violent as hell. Naturalistic and brilliant acting throughout and without fault. And LOVE the "this is face discrimination!" line - hilarious, and bang on! Voice of truth.
What was the point of this? Really. Where did the bully child go? She was such a beta female and then just disappeared. Pivotal moments in the film just evaporated. A real loss of an opportunity here to develop something greater. 1 star for some of the Instagramesque cinematography.