We first glimpse the 17-year-antique Isabelle (Marine Vacth) via her little brother’s spying binoculars. She’s mendacity on a pebbly French seashore together with her breasts bared to the solar – a quite, starved-searching lady who may want to skip for a whole lot more youthful. Walking down to the sand, the boy (Fantin Ravat) plays shadow puppets on her browning skin, teasing her approximately boys and sex and looking her sisterly recommendation. But she’s approximately to move on a journey that he can not observe.
Later that day, Isabelle will sneak out of her own family’s holiday residence and lose her virginity, perfunctorily, to a German traveler. When she gets back to Paris, she’ll secretly begin running as a prostitute after college, assembly guys who are vintage and wrinkly enough to be her grandfather. Why does she do it? Certainly not for the cash, which she stashes haphazardly in a laundry cabinet. And if her listless have an effect on is some thing to head through, the intercourse is not giving her tons pleasure either, though there may be one older gentleman (Johan Leysen) she appears to connect to as he becomes her regular patron.
When Isabelle is sooner or later found out and questioned, she has no answers for the police, or for the psychologist, or for her distraught mom (Géraldine Pailhas), who understandably wonders where she’s long past incorrect as a figure. Isabelle’s motivation is a mystery, even to herself. And whilst this may be a legitimate touch upon the inscrutability of dangerous teenager behaviour, lamentably it doesn’t make for exciting viewing in a film that invites us to appearance, however not to apprehend.
At his pleasant, French writer-director François Ozon is able to delighting us together with his polished fashion and cheeky humour. (Think of his quick films just like the suitable A Summer Dress and the colourful farce of 8 Women.) Ozon has also tested adept at growing unnerving mysteries round identification, sex and love, as with See the Sea, Swimming Pool, Under the Sand and the quite transferring and poignant 5×2. But with this modern day paintings, which was bafflingly nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes remaining yr, Ozon appears too lost in the surly surfaces of his vacuous young challenge to give you a proper plot or motivation for the action, let alone a sense of wit or whimsy.
The film is divided into four elements that chart the passing of the yr in Isabelle’s life – Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring – every of them containing a pop track by using French chanteuse Françoise Hardy, which fail to illuminate the plight or mood of the character. There are exciting tips of family melodrama – is Isabelle’s mother having an affair together with her fine friend’s husband? Is there impropriety together with her stepfather? – however none of it is going everywhere.
The constant eye of the digital camera truely appears in love with Vacth. Shot crisply via DOP Pascal Marti, and edited with unobtrusive fluidity by Laure Gardett, the movie definitely appears accurate. Lingering on the younger girl’s complete lips, her silky long hair and the knobbly ribs in her arched back, we’re left feeling uncomfortable. Why are we looking at her and what are we watching this for? At least the name is sincere in its enchantment to voyeurism, for there’s little else to be had in this joyless adventure.