Early one morning Valerie has to tell her unemployed boyfriend Remi that she is pregnant. She has decided to keep the child, but they argue whether they should break up or not. That same ...
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Shot in real time, Virginie Ledoyen delivers a tour de force performance in a film that is a clear descendant of the great early New Wave films. The largely hand-held camera follows 19 year... See full summary »
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Luigi Lo Cascio,
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Early one morning Valerie has to tell her unemployed boyfriend Remi that she is pregnant. She has decided to keep the child, but they argue whether they should break up or not. That same morning Valerie starts working in room service at a smart hotel. The film follows the routine of Valerie bringing breakfast to the guests, Valerie constantly trying to phone her mother, and Valerie's relations with the other staff. Written by
Valerie tells her boyfriend she's pregnant, he's not sure what he wants. She's mad, but hoping he'll somehow turn around. The unsettled uncertain back and forth is very real. She seems better than the boyfriend, but doesn't quite know it.
Then off to work at a new job in a hotel. Rhythm varies with the headlong speedy movement of work and occasional moments grabbed for a nap or a smoke. Tensions with staff and guests make you worry about this young girl: any situation could explode. She seems calm outwardly, but you gradually get a sense of the roiling interior. Will she crack under the pressure? Mysteries--why is she so cold to the black co-worker? Racism? Worry? You're not quite sure. At moments things loosen up, the girl shows attitude to the point you think she might get fired. Can she be that tough, that self-confident? In a way, yes. She turns out to be an amazing character who almost thinks she's ordinary, though she knows the men are after her like a pack of wolves. She's young, you worry for her, but she can take care of herself. In the end she seems awesomely, unfathomably self-sufficient.
This movie seems to be about female power. A good pairing would be with Sautet's A Simple Story, about an older woman also outwardly ordinary (though beautiful) but with amazing contained power, a kind of integrity beyond any men she encounters.
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