The film shows a particularly interesting view on the complexity of human mind. It's not the first film to rise the issue of transsexualism nevertheless it brings a catchy story plot along with a remarkable interpretation by Duris, who never seems to disappoint.
Once again Ozon proves to be a skillful director bringing a sense of thrill and suspense to the narratives, common in his films such as "Swimming Poll".
"The New Girlfirend" finds a strikingly good balance between witty comedy and the emotional drama of overcoming someone's death while dealing with gender identity issues. Claire's conventional life is shaken by Virginia's desire to express herself by crossdressing and discovering the queer community. The two leading characters are rich and complex, making the film a journey to better understand both of them.
This was a mix of queerness, comedy and drama. Better than I expected. The joy of watching French cinema is that you can see their artistic freedom in expressing the human condition. Films are made for the joy of making it, and what a pleasure it is to see things unfold without restrictions. Fascinating characters, and an odd-romantically quirky story.
***1/2. Ozon's cameo is Hitchcockian, the first 10 minutes are superb and Duris looks like Michael Caine in De Palma's 'Dressed To Kill' at times. It could have been a total mess but the film is enjoyable. Ozon, it's Almodovar. Without the madness. Recommended.
Since his film made from a Fassbinder script that Ozon, the overvalued Ozon, didn' look for a wicked fairy tale and here he found a potential possibility, largely wasted by his usual inability to release a film from a good formal behavior, descriptive and illustrative, clearly demonstrated by the horrendous ending. But in the transvestite show, although attributed to an "other", Dorothy in Oz was close by.
Mr. Ozon, who proves to be a legitimate filmmaker, grabs some moods from Almodóvar, yet giving priority to a seductive moderation over exuberance, and also from Xavier Dolan, with the particularity of being slightly more humorous and less staged. (3.5 stars)
Some late act scripting issues don't take away from the total enjoyment of this latest film from Ozon. A crossdressing widower becomes close with his late wife's best friend, in his female persona, and the relationship brings out behaviour and feelings that neither has explored fully before. Duris is good here but it's Demoustier who really impresses. Gender is such a fluid thing and one's true self must emerge.