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Ludovic is a small boy who cross-dresses and generally acts like a girl, talks of marrying his neighbor's son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it. His actions lead to problems for him and his family. Written by
The most obvious way to read MA VIE EN ROSE is as the tale of difficulties faces by a very young boy who is very likely transgenderd--but given the multi-layered nature of the film this is actually a rather narrow point of view. It would be more accurate to describe the film as a rather sly assault on a cookie-cutter society that reacts with a herd mentality toward anything in the least unusual. And Ludovic Fabre is a most unusual child: barely into school, he has become convinced that he is a girl, and in his childhood innocence he sees absolutely nothing socially amiss with the idea.
The film begins with a party at which neighbors gather to welcome the newly arrived Fabre family--only to be, along with the family, extremely disconcerted when Ludovic makes an entrance in meticulously applied make-up and a pink dress. His family passes the incident off as a joke, but Ludovic proves remarkably single-minded, and when he draws a neighborhood child into his fantasies he also incurs neighborhood hysteria. The result is at once comic and unpleasantly vicious as his classmates, his neighbors, and eventually his family gradually turn upon him.
Although there are one or two problems with character development in the script, the cast--particularly Georges du Fresne as Ludovic and Helene Vincent as free-spirit grandmother Elizabeth--is superlative, and director Alain Berliner balances the serio-comic story with a very light touch. Viewers will laugh a little, cry a little, and ultimately come away from the film feeling an uncertain hope. The fact that this film is rated "R" is merely so much more evidence of the power of the herd to dictate standards of normalcy--one or two profanities aside, there is absolutely nothing in the film to offend any intelligent viewer, and the film will hold a special appeal for older children who have been targeted as in any way different by their peers... and for the many adults who remember what it was like to be a victim of a society that prizes conformity over imagination, creativity, honesty, integrity, and self-awareness. Strongly recommended.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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