“It’s as if my heart had run dry.”
A sixteen-year-old girl (Sandrine Bonnaire) becomes increasingly promiscuous in response to her dysfunctional family life.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Family Problems
- French Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary and others have noted, this French coming-of-age story — a “disturbing portrait of 16-year-old girl (Sandrine Bonnaire) who drifts into a series of meaningless, unfufilling sexual affairs” — is raw, disturbing, and oddly compelling. Bonnaire (who, in her debut, “looks a bit like the young Diane Lane”) is entirely convincing in the lead role, playing a nubile teen who uses her burgeoning sexuality as a means of rebellion and escape from her dysfunctional family, rather than for intimacy and love. Just as the two young children in Rene Clement’s Forbidden Games (1951) cope with the war and death surrounding them through intricate burial rituals for animals, Bonnaire deals with her chaotic family life by escaping into meaningless affairs; as Peary argues, she does this not just “to hurt her parents for being uncaring, but also because that’s her only choice”. He concludes his review by noting that “long after seeing the film you [will] still think about [Bonnaire] and those like her who are forced to bring themselves up, long before they have the maturity to know what’s good for them.”
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Sandrine Bonnaire as Suzanne
- A realistic, if depressing, portrayal of a dysfunctional family
Yes, for Bonnaire’s affecting performance.