August, 1963; Alice, 14, an only child, and physically well developed, is home for vacation. She's moody, silent, keeps a diary, and explores tactile sensations with broken eggs, candle wax... See full summary »
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Libero De Rienzo
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August, 1963; Alice, 14, an only child, and physically well developed, is home for vacation. She's moody, silent, keeps a diary, and explores tactile sensations with broken eggs, candle wax, ear wax, vomit, urine, blood, and, perhaps, if the summer goes in one very possible direction, semen. Without her underpants, she walks about, rides her bike, and sits on the shore as the tide comes in. She drifts to her father's sawmill and makes eyes at Jim, a 20-something hand with a lean body and a model's face. What will Jim do, and does Alice want to do more than stare and fantasize? Meanwhile, pop music fills the air and the TV screen, and Alice's parents have their own drama. Written by
Although she is playing a 14-year-old, Charlotte Alexandra was actually 20 at the time of filming. See more »
The calendar inside the doorway of the Bonnard home indicates that it's August, 1964; however, TV shows pertaining to the death of Monseigneur Fernand Maillet and the resignation of George Pompidou's first government suggest that it's only 1963, and a TV broadcast of Jacques Anquetil's fourth Tour de France victory suggests that at least one scene with the calendar is set on July 14 (Bastille Day), 1963. See more »
This film is rather difficult to review because it doesn't really have a plot to speak of, and it's clear that director Catherine Breillat was more keen on focusing on the art elements and detailing the sexual developments of a young girl than telling a story. This is the first film I've seen from Catherine Breillat, but given what I've read about her; it would seem that she enjoys directing films that focus on sexuality, and that would seem to be the case if this film is anything to go by. A Real Young Girl focuses on Alice Bonnard, a 'well developed' teenager who attends a boarding school and is spending the summer at her parents' house. She enjoys experimenting, and has a particular fascination with fluids, as she experiments with all sorts including urine and ear wax, as well as egg yolk and tanning cream. She becomes fixated on a man employed by her father, as well as a couple of other local men and her father, and the film basically follows her summer as things happen to her parents and she develops sexually.
Unlike most exploitation films, this one takes place from the woman's point of view, although the idea that all men are sex-obsessed perverts certainly shines through, and I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Catherine Breillat is a devout feminist, as there isn't one single decent male character in the whole film. The film rests a lot on its star Charlotte Alexandra, and she doesn't disappoint. Her performance is thoroughly realistic, and she also looks rather tasty, which is sure to delight the male viewers. I have to admit that I was expecting to be shocked going into the film, and while A Real Young Girl is liable to offend less well versed viewers; it would seem I've seen too much of this stuff as nothing in the film seemed too over the top to me. Catherine Breillat clearly isn't afraid to shock the viewers, however, as the film features plenty of nudity and other perverse scenes. The film features no suspense and the plot really just plods along, but it's well paced and while you know that the ending isn't going to provide much intrigue, it doesn't matter as anyone looking for a sexually charged film is likely to be satisfied.
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