A girl is on the verge of adulthood and discover that she likes her lesbian babysitter more than boys. It sounds like the perfect plot for an XXX-rated flick. Well, it tries to make that concept a little more artsy but the fact is that take away the good-looking girls and the well-shot cinematography the movie never takes off as either a coming-of-age story or is erotic enough.
2.8 stars. I really like Diop's sensibility, but on balance I found this somewhat squicky, rather than sensitive, though I am a sucker for tacky underground cave illuminations. This is basically how I'd imagine 'Persona' as early '90s young adult fiction. Maybe Diop could adapt one of the 'Point Horror' books!!!
What initially seems to be a conventional narrative soon reveals itself to be more symbolic and sensual than we expect. An uneven film where poetic and prosaic elements sit uncomfortably together, but Diop's unusual depiction of sexual awakening is not without ambition or imagination.
Not without merits short about female sexuality. Restrainingly sensual, Diop's film displays some genuinely cinematic moments, like, for instance, the exterior mountain shots (and how these are edited), the shots of the apartment following the babysitter's departure and the fragmentary shots of the female body. On the other hand, it seems unsure of its intentions and wastes itself in some superficial communincation.
Naliya Bal perf elevates to a point. Vulnerability, conflicting emotion. Yet, a sense the film doesn't make the most of it. Impact, insight feel lacking. Camera & composition not the most interesting. Cave scene/alps shots derivative. Implied class contrast untapped til late burst. Most 1/2 hour shorts are too long; this one seems less understated than dilute. A more exact, imaginative POV could do more in less time.
Back then (sometimes still now) romance was the sensual exploration of one's own power. I got that in a way I hadn't till seeing this. Diop, here & in Atlantiques, has an uncanny way of making my memory of the film code in the same way as a memory of my own might, so that the empathy comes almost after the fact. It sets in... Not insignificant to cast two women of colour in a romance, and with a crew of mostly women.
If you mix the faces of the two first actors, I'm sure you'll get Benjamin Biolay's. Otherwise, the film looks pretty cliché at first but then, the actors' play, the silences, the representations of her thoughts give rise to a dreamlike atmosphere. PS : The english subs are awful.
Enigmatic realism, presenting us in the midst of a complex web of psychological countercurrents. Burning with an awakening sensuality, it counterpoises a rousing sexuality against both a sophisticated femininity and the cold, forbidding austerity of the Alpine slopes. It evolves into a mesmeric modern fairytale, with all the mystery, symbolism and latent sexuality of the Brothers Grimm. Bold, evocative and haunting.