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Like many of her classmates, 12 year old tomboy Juliette has a crush on Mrs. Solenska, a teacher distinguished by stylish attire and an uninhibited, provocative classroom demeanor. Juliette's fascination turns into all-consuming obsession, forcing revelations from both the girl and her teacher. Written by
Outfest Film Festival
We have all gone through the teacher crush phase in our life. It is a sweet memory that we cherish when we grow up and just laugh in a silly way about it. But when the crush becomes borderline obsession, this is when an interesting story starts to build up. The theme of the movie sounded interesting and I decided to go and watch this film in the ongoing Philadelphia LGBT film festival.
Juliette is a 12 year old young teenage tomboyish girl. She has huge crush on her French grammar teacher Hélène Solenska. Actually most of the class has that. Hélène might be old but she has amazing dress sense. She is witty, humorous, popular and takes pleasure in giving lessons in life and love to the class specially to the boys. Since the boys get all her attention, this makes Juliette a little bit jealous. What particularly bothers Juliette is the special attention that Adrien gets in the class. He is the most good looking boy n the class and gets most attention from Hélène. Now Juliette starts becoming obsessive. She finds where Hélène lives and goes to her house only to find that Adrien is there. She hides there to see what is going on. She becomes so obsessive that every time she sees Hélène with Adrien she bursts with jealousy. One day she cannot control, accuses Hélène of sleeping with Adrien and just rushed out of the school. She comes back home knowing very well that she has done a huge mistake. She is suspended from the school for a few days and when she goes back, she has a very hard time. Everyone gives her the strangest looks, no one talks to her. Hélène's equation with the class is now completely changed. She no more gives private classes to Adrien who according to her has huge potential but needs some push. When the results are finally out, Adrien finally fails and even Juliette scores pretty low despite being one of the brightest students of the class. This angers Adrien and he attacks Juliette. She cant take it anymore and goes home and eats a lot of sleeping pills. Hélène reaches in time and saves her. At home, Juliette's brother finds a box which reveals how Juliette had a huge crush on Hélène. Hélène, in the hospital, talks to Juliette and tells her own experience of how she had a crush on a teacher and how it is normal but teachers only respond to those who satisfy their ego and reassures them that they are doing their job right. Juliette finally gets sense and is now over her crush and ready to begin life new.
The film had a very interesting plot and a very believable performance by Juliette. She very nicely portrays the emotions of having a crush on the teacher, her passion and also the angst and the pain when she is completely boycotted by pretty much the entire school. It is interesting to see how this also changes the equation within the family because her elder brother now gets crap in school because of her. The first half of the film although was very very slow. There are long scenes of just watching Juliette's mundane activities at home and trying to be a girl and not tomboy. These scenes though necessary to explain her mentality, just test your patience with no dialogues for a long intervals. I liked the film but it could have been much better in my opinion but at the same time this is why I like the french cinema because they are simple, very slice of life kind of stories which don't make you feel as if you are watching a movie but someone next door.
Beautifully shot with bravura performances, this film is easily a one time watch
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