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Suzanne is 15 and is having sex with many boys, just for fun, but did not manage to really love one of them. Her family does not understand her. The father does not like her behaviour. When he leaves home, the mother becomes a little bit neurotic. And Suzanne's brother Robert, begins to beat her as a punishment... Written by
In the sequence with the American, Suzanne's outfit changes from a one-shoulder black dress with white stripes trimming just the top of the bodice, to a one-shoulder black&white striped top with a black skirt, and back again. See more »
You think you're in love, but you just want to be loved.
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Kind of French "feminist lolita" movie with a strong performance by Sandrine Bonnaire
This is the story of a teenage French girl (Sandrine Bonnaire) with a difficult home life. Both her father (who abandons the family) and her older brother (who regularly physically assaults her) seem to have an unnatural interest in her sexuality, while her mother (who may the worst of them all) is a raving hysteric who eggs everyone else on. Not surprisingly, the girl is quite promiscuous, availing herself of any number of boys and men. In an American movie like this, her male paramours would at best be panting dogs and at worst villainous cads taking advantage of a vulnerable girl, but here they're probably the most sympathetic people in the movie!
The young girl is not unsympathetic by any means, but she simply refuses to be a victim and remains firmly in control, and no family member or lover ultimately seems to have much chance against her. She is similar to the kind of "feminist lolitas" that often appear in Catherine Breillat movies like "A Real Young Girl" and "36 Fillete"-- teen girls that are very desirable, but also wise beyond their years and in perfect control of their own sexuality, and thus never simply mere sex objects. It's surprising Bonnaire never worked directly with Breillat because she is a much more self-assured and commanding actress than any of the ones Breillat did work with. I don't know if I believe the IMDb dates regarding Bonnaire's age as her assured acting (and her nude body) suggest that she was somewhat older than the character she's playing here, but she's very impressive regardless. Interestingly, while she became a very formidable actress in her later years (especially in films like Claude Chabrol's "Initiation"), she would not really be one of your more glamorous and sexy French actress. She certainly compares well to her contemporaries at the time like Emmanuelle Beart and Sophie Marceau, but while they would become leading ladies, she stayed more of a character actress.
Ironically, the one problem I had with the movie is that Bonnaire and her character is perhaps TOO self-assured and as an actress Bonnaire tends to dominate the rest of the cast too much. It might be a feminist statement to have young female protagonist who is this self-confident, but I don't know that it's necessarily very realistic.
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