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Angèle, a beautiful young woman with a past, arrives in a small fishing harbor in Normandy. She meets Tony, a professional fisherman, who finds himself attracted to her although he dislikes her blunt ways. Tony hires her as a fishmonger, lodges her and teaches her the tricks of the trade. The relationships between Myriam, Tony's mother, and Angèle are far from easy but the young woman gradually adapts to her new environment and little by little Tony and Angèle manage to tame each other... Written by
The Director is too obsessed with her theme of hard-done-by/unfortunate young woman, and the pathos of her aggrieved face, even when her struggle is only with pedalling a bicycle uphill-(overlong shots of this), as emblematic of her hardship!
The first shot in the film: Angèle engaged in a certain "activity" up against a wall, with a young man who gives her a Chinese Action Man, after pulling up his jeans, and is never seen again. She appears as a sullen tart, whose unsavoury past is only later hinted at by fragments of information. She is authorised to leave a Young Offenders' hostel when she tells the officer she has got herself a job (helping Tony, the charitable fisherman whose mother is recently widowed).
Her entirely graceless, furtive behaviour is further displayed when we find she has just stolen a bicycle; then she tries to steal a smart dress from a shop, and maintains she has to go and collect her son. This proves to be a charming 10 year old who has naturally become distanced while she was in prison, and she is fearful/embarrassed about confronting him. Apart from a violent demo by fishermen v. police, everyone is obliging: Angèle remains sullen and aggrieved.
In spite of all, there is a happy ending! (She marries Tony, the boy is a page, ex-in-laws are reconciled.)
The Interviews with star and director prove a further disappointment: trying to reply, haltingly, in English, to very banal questions is a daunting task; it only reveals their mutual satisfaction, as if the theme and the beautiful face were sufficient to carry the story through. (275 words)
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