January 15, 2014

Young and Beautiful (2013)

Young and Beautiful (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: François Ozon
Country: France

Movie Review: After the success obtained with the voyeuristic “In the House”, here comes the awaited new film from French filmmaker François Ozon. As “In the House”, “Young and Beautiful” has also a hint of voyeurism here and there, but applied in a completely different context, showing an obscure psychological side of adolescent sexuality. The story, told along four seasons of the year, centers on Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a bourgeois 17 year-old student who decides to become a prostitute after lose her virginity during the summer holidays. In the fall, we can see her in hotels with all sorts of clients, and the inevitable question arises – What are her motives? Once she shows a strange pleasure when counting money, we first think of materialistic reasons or even the urge of becoming financially independent, but there is something more in Isabelle’s puzzling, provocative, and fearless behavior. Her lack of expression and hidden feelings stir our curiosity. The winter brings the shocking revelations to Isabelle’s mother in tragic circumstances, while spring marks a radical change of attitude with the appearance of a boyfriend of her age, yet also without palpable conclusions. Lacking the spell of “In the House”, the semi-vague “Young and Beautiful” combines tones of sensuality and mystery, recalling the work of Jean-Claude Brisseau in several moments. It's an inconclusive, well-shot piece that doesn’t fascinate, but is never monotonous. Solid performance by Vacth in her first main role.

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