I have only seen 3 Bertrand Blier movies, but this one is easily my favorite of the 3. BUFFET FROID, starring Gerard Depardieu, was the first I saw -- and the fact that it was basically plot less and full of absurdist humor made it instantly a favored flick. I more recently saw Blier's Oscar-winning GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS but thought it was a little too conventional and strained next to the more flat-out freewheeling BUFFET. About 15 years after that pair of movies comes this one, which marries the sensibilities of the other two perfectly. Like HANDKERCHIEFS, it actually has a story, but like BUFFET, it doesn't bother with real-world logic, good taste, or linear chronology in telling that story. SOLEIL is sort of a movie about coming-of-age in the projects, sort of a movie about sexual psychology, and sort of a cut-and-pasted collage of unusual moments. The magical thing is that the damn thing winds up more moving than it probably would have if it was a straightforward tearjerker about hard living. Of course, Blier can't be credited completely for this, as his actors are wonderful, especially Anouk Grinberg as Victorine, our perpetually childish heroine, and Marcello Mastroianni as her charming perpetually drunk papa. An under-seen gem.
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