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Marie leaves home to study the piano at the conservatory in Lyons. Through lack of money, she is obliged to share an apartment with Emma, a friend of the family who has lived alone since the death of her father. The two young women develop a strange fascination for one another, which soon develops into an intense mutual need... Written by
Some brave choices in a not an entirely successful movie
This is a French movie about an obsessive lesbian relationship. It resembles "Single White Female" in that has it has two young college students--an aspiring musician (Judith Davis) and a medical student (Isilde Lebesco)--sharing a flat in Lyon for financial reasons when one becomes dangerously obsessed with the other. The movie does make several brave choices, however, they don't quite work out and they perhaps serve to make the movie not quite as effective as it could be.
First off, the movie really opts for realism and doesn't really cross into the lurid thriller territory of "Single White Female" or a lot of Hollywood fare. This is an admirable in a way, but it also makes it somewhat less entertaining. Of course Claude Chabrol has made an entire career of these slow-burning French thriller/melodramas, but the director here doesn't quite have his talent. The movie also doesn't really go for the lesbian sex angle. The lesbian relationship actually remains largely unconsummated and curiously, for a FRENCH movie, this actually has significantly LESS sex and nudity than "Single White Female" (it's the only movie of hers I've seen where the voluptuous Isild Lebesco does NOT take her clothes off). The movie also chooses to make both of the leads rather unsympathetic--one character is a self-involved opportunist while the other is a stalker--but then this is true of "Single White Female" as well, and is not necessarily a serious problem.
Despite its flaws, however, I did watch this movie from beginning to end, and I can't say I'm sorry I did. Isild Lebesco is great in this. She's a very compelling actress (even with her clothes on!)and I think she could give a lot of Anglophone actresses a serious run for the money. Judith Davis is also quite good. This is no lesbian stalker classic. It's not as good as "Lost and Delirious" or "Single White Female" (although they're all very different movies), but it works better than some (like the recent "Jack and Diane"). It's not great, but I don't regret having watched it either.
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