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Katie, a single mother living in France with her daughter Lisa, struggles to make ends meet while working at a chemical factory. There, she meets Paco, a co-worker from Spain. Soon, they move in together, and Katie becomes pregnant. Katie gives birth to a baby boy, named Ricky, and she and Paco raise him together in their tiny apartment, along with Lisa. However, it soon becomes apparent that Ricky is no ordinary baby; he develops a pair of functioning wings and becomes able to fly. Soon he is flitting about in their tiny apartment, and together Katie and Paco struggle to raise and handle the ever-growing Ricky. Written by
intriguing blend of obsession, sibling rivalry and magical realism
I saw this today as part of the Alliance Francais film festival in Brisbane.
While not Ozon's best effort (for me Swimming Pool remains his masterpiece) this is an intriguing whimsical story with disturbing undertones of obsession and sibling rivalry.
The story really makes most sense when considered from Lisa's point of view (a powerhouse performance by the young actress here). I took the fantasy aspect of the story to be a metaphorical expression of integrating new members into a tightly knit family of two (and not just Ricky either). This magical realism is very strongly grounded in the emotions of the characters and this is what gives the movie impact in spite of its imperfections. Ozon likes operating on the boundary of fact/fiction mind/reality, and takes huge gambles here which don't always come off--but in the moments they do the film is very satisfying.
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