Being no fan of Ozon's work, this was a surprise. A lushly photographed study of dissociation (here: mirrors split the self (that revolving hotel door!) & the dissociated double at the first erotic encounter returns finally via the melancholic double of experience) & the impossibility of giving account of oneself (so: caviling about lazy characterization is lazy criticism at best. Thoughts on "male gaze" below.
Marine Vacth is a tremendous find in this perfectly cast tale from director Francois Ozon. Ozon creates wonderful parts for actresses and this marks his best effort in recent years in a tale set over four seasons as a young woman loses her virginity, gains power over her sexuality. loses said power before gaining some kind of wisdom to carry on. A quite wonderful journey marking one of this year's finest films.
You could watch Marine Vacth for the rest of your life, she's pure eye candy. The film, for me, is just a more unconventional coming-of-age story as Isabelle discovers sex and her power over men. The scene where she sees herself losing her virginity on the beach, like having an out-of-body experience, is probably the best one: so empty and sad. Nice soundtrack, too.
Deserves actually zero stars-- what a worthless movie... an unfortunate turn for Francois Ozon who has made some interesting films in the past. This is sexist, stupid, boring, and extremely disappointing. Conventional and mainstream in the worst ways