François Ozon may want to never be known as a chilly or somber filmmaker, however his notoriety as a ringleader of camp flamboyance has always been deceptive. The mainstream success of the gaudy musical 8 Women and satirical pulp exercising Swimming Pool thrust him into an worldwide highlight as a sort of Gallic Almodóvar—an auteur of impossible to resist fashion even when the substance of his movies turned into questionable. But contrary to his popularity, Ozon has proven himself to be a grasp of restraint in addition to extra. The devastating Under the Sand, his best paintings, is a ghost story predicated on fetish and fantasy, however its narrative ostentations are grounded by minimum talk and an austere mise-en-scène; the end result is a hypnotic viewing enjoy wherein delusion and delirium reverberate with truth. And like Under the Sand, Young and Beautiful sees Ozon much less as a prankster of extra than as a humanist Haneke, articulating the outrageous lurking under the everyday—and vice versa. Though the filmmaker’s flair for the bombastic and macabre stays, with Young and Beautiful he channels that electricity right into a quiet, earthbound tale that grows stranger and sneakier because it progresses.
The film opens with a shot of Isabelle (Marine Vacth), the striking teenager to whom the name in reality refers, glimpsed from above in a cheeky binocular shot; the topic of voyeurism, on a part of each the individual and digicam, is so blatant that it nearly reads as a funny story. It’s a quintessentially Ozonian starting, thinking about his films’ important thru line is their (and their characters’) undying obsession with the act of looking; the photo of Isabelle’s outstretched determine even functions as a self-referential nod to Swimming Pool. Isabelle’s observer is her prepubescent brother, Victor (Fantin Ravat), whose interest in her frame quickly exhibits itself to be less sexual or maybe objectifying than it’s miles a manifestation of his own self-fixation. Later within the scene, he regales her with questions about the boy she’s seeing, making her promise to tell him of something sexual exploits she receives up to: In Isabelle, Victor seems to see a more evolved version of himself, via whom he can vicariously enjoy her newfound sexual agency, however best insofar as she allows him.
Isabelle is hence diagnosed early on as a determine of energy and authority, and her male counterpart literally childish by using evaluation. This dynamic typifies Isabelle’s entire sexual coming of age, which begins with a passionless summer season fling and evolves into a sequence of prostitution stints upon her own family’s return to their Parisian home; appreciably, all developments are instigated by Isabelle, not the more skilled accomplice(s). Despite the swoony pop soundtrack and vibrant cinematography, Young and Beautiful’s more and more unnerving tale mostly unfolds with minimum flair, intensely centered as it is on its steely and enigmatic protagonist. What makes Ozon’s film splendid is its deference to Isabelle, who acts because the singular agent no longer simplest of her own sexuality, however of the narrative itself. She dominates each guy she encounters and each lady who attempts to region judgment on her, efficiently reversing the traditional electricity dynamic of the voyeuristic gaze. When her movements ultimately result in risky outcomes, they’re not anything just like the outcomes that typically befall younger prostitutes on screen, and despite repeated plot developments that threaten to compromise the story’s boldness and irreverence, Ozon, by using manner of Isabelle, continually steers faraway from self-righteous or moralistic terrain as much as the movie’s very quit. Young & Beautiful’s final scene is in reality an sleek one, saying the of completion of Isabelle’s journey of self-discovery with out ceding her any of her electricity or authority.
Cast: Marine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas, Fantin Ravat, Frédéric Pierrot, Johan Leysen, Charlotte Rampling Director: François Ozon Screenwriter: François Ozon Distributor: Sundance Selects Running Time: 95 min Rating: NR Year: 2013 Buy: Video
“Tell the fact however tell it slant”
Sign as much as get hold of Slant’s state-of-the-art reviews, interviews, lists, and extra, brought once a week into your inbox.