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Isild Le Besco,
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart,
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Isild Le Besco,
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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
A little known gem with the beautiful Virginie Ledoyen in the lead. I have a special relation with some films and this is certainly one of them. I first saw it - not long after it came out - on Dutch public television in my final year in high school. I thought the girl in the main role (Virginie Ledoyen) was the coolest girl I ever saw and the film always stuck with me. Later on, largely due to her performance in this film, she would become a big star and continued to be in the limelight and even played alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in THE BEACH (2000), so that's probably why I kept remembering her role in LA SEULE FILLE.
For a large part, the film plays in real time as the camera follows Valérie on the day she finds out she's pregnant. She starts a new job in a hotel as a maid. Her day-to-day routines are followed, her various encounters with the hotel guests and her intermittent meetings with her boyfriend at a nearby café. He doesn't know how to handle the situation, he doesn't have a job and cannot seem to make up his mind about anything, let alone this situation. He is a bit of a loser. Off course Valérie is in the toughest spot but somehow she never ceases to lose control or overview of the situation. She is on screen all the time as the camera follows her constantly while she walks down the corridors of the hotel, in the elevator, walking down the streets. Even though she has an attitude, is arrogant and acts a bit too wise for a girl her age, she remains absolutely fascinating throughout the film.
The lack of plot hardly mattered to me, because it's compensated by Virginie Ledoyen's radiant presence. This is the perfect example of a film where one actor or actress completely makes it work.
Camera Obscura --- 9/10
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