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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Hard Crush

Author: Avery Hudson from New York, NY
6 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Myriam Aziza's first feature is like one of PJ Harvey's jealousy/murder ballads brought to life. Except the protagonist isn't an adult, but a sweet 12-year-old girl. Intelligent, studious, a bit shy, Juliette (Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi) lives an average life with her over-worked mother and two brothers in a boring suburban complex.

Juliette develops a hard crush on her beautiful grammar teacher Hélène Solenska (the Belgian-Portuguese singer Lio). Which is understandable. In and out of the classroom, Madame Solenska controls her image in a perfect storm of education, seduction, and power that equates mastery of French grammar with sexual maturity. The entire class has a crush on her.

But during an unfortunate series of events, Juliette spins out of control, her perceptions uncannily accurate even if delusional.

A beautiful film of solitude – Juliette's, her mother's (a bravura performance by Sophie Mounicot), and Solenska.

Shot with a Red camera, which despite its reputation for difficulty is rapidly gaining acceptance as a means to Cinemascope effects on a video budget, the film has striking photography throughout and scenes of translucent beauty. See it for the phenomenal Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi, and stay for a memorable experience.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I loved it

Author: adventurer_ci from United States
25 October 2013

I give this one a 10, because it deserves it. It took me awhile to get back to reality after watching this great french movie. La robe du soir is slow burning and intense film,very touching and heartbreaking, buoyed by terrific performance by the little girl,a child actor who is so good she doesn't seem to be acting. One of the things I really liked about this movie was that it didn't need to have every moment filled with dialog like a lot of movies. If you like this film, there's a good chance you'll like these 2 french movies "Tomboy" (2011) and "Water Lilies"(2007). The other 2 movies with terrific child-actors I recommend are "The Return"(Russian) ,"Last Ride" (Australian).

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching once

Author: itsvivek4u from United States
9 July 2011

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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