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La belle personne (2008)

 -  Drama  -  6 March 2009 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,196 users  
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Sixteen-year old Junie changes high school mid-year, following the death of her mother. She finds herself in the same class as her cousin Mathias, who introduces her to his friends. All the... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Nemours
...
Junie
...
Otto
Esteban Carvajal-Alegria ...
Matthias
Simon Truxillo ...
Henri
Agathe Bonitzer ...
Marie
...
Catherine
Valérie Lang ...
Florence Perrin
Jacob Lyon ...
Jacob
Jean-Michel Portal ...
Estouteville
Martin Siméon ...
Martin
Chantal Neuwirth ...
Nicole - la patronne du café Sully
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louka Anargyros
Thomas Anargyros
Gabriel Attal
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Storyline

Sixteen-year old Junie changes high school mid-year, following the death of her mother. She finds herself in the same class as her cousin Mathias, who introduces her to his friends. All the boys want to date Junie, and she chooses the quietest among them, Otto Cleves. But soon after, she encounters the great love of her life, Nemours, her Italian teacher. The passion that burns between them is, however, doomed. Junie refuses to give in to her feelings and persists in denying herself happiness, which in her eyes is merely illusory. Written by American Film Market

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bela Junie  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When writing the script Christophe Honoré consulted 'Louis Garrel' as to what subject his character should teach. Garrel suggested he be a teacher of Italian and Honoré wrote it into the script assuming that Garrel knew Italian because his fiancé at the time, actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, was Italian. During shooting he discovered that Garrel actually spoke very little of the language. See more »

Quotes

Nemours: I'm lost as you are.
See more »

Connections

Features Yaaba (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Dolce Suono
Lucia Di Lammermor
Written by Gaetano Donizetti
Performed by Maria Callas, Choeur et Orchestre du Mai musical Florentin, Tullio Serafin
1951 EMI Electrola
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty good actually
8 September 2013 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

After her mother's death, a pretty teenage girl (Lea Seydoux) moves in with relatives and attends school with her male cousin. She quickly gets embroiled in the dizzying affairs of her cousin's clique of friends and young teachers. There are straight affairs, gay affairs, straight love triangles, gay love triangles, bisexual love triangles, teacher-student affairs, teacher-student love triangles--really you need some kind of chart to keep track of it all. "Junie", the protagonist, first gets involved with "Otto", the shy odd-man-out in all these sexual shenanigans (perhaps because he's the only one with a decent haircut), but she soon finds herself drawn to the young Italian teacher (Louis Garrel), who is already involved with another student in the clique AND a fellow teacher.

This kind of sounds like a French bedroom farce--especially a scene where one character drops a lurid love letter from his pocket and everyone thinks it belongs to the Italian teacher, leading to all kinds of misunderstandings. But this movie is actually very moody and gloomy--even tragic at one point. All these liaisons don't seem to leave anyone very happy. In that respect this kind of reminded me of Catherine Breillat film, but it also has a surprising lack of sex scenes (aside from one strange scene where Seydoux bares her breasts for her boyfriend in what looks to be a school hallway or the streets of Paris). It is also strangely anachronistic. It's a modern-day film judging from the occasional use of cell phones, but the characters still pass notes instead of text messaging. And I guess it must be perfectly legal in France for teachers to carry on with students because no one even remarks on it. (Of course, everyone here LOOKS like they're in their twenties). I guess France is just a different place--at least their movies certainly are.

Seydoux is pretty good here even if her character is frustratingly opaque. She and Anais Demoustier (who has a small part in this and would appear with Seydoux again later in a similar film called "Le Belle Epine") might be the only girls prettier than their male co-star Louis Garrel, who has appeared in seemingly every other French film since making his mark in Catherine Breillat's 2007 film "The Last Mistress". It is Seydoux though who is perhaps on the verge of true international fame with a starring role in "Farewell, My Queen" and in the upcoming Cannes-winner "Blue is the Warmest Color". This is kind of strange movie for a lot of reasons, but it's also actually pretty good.


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