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Anna a young teenager comes home from her Catholic boarding school for the holidays and discovers her father has left. Her mother is devastated and confined in the company of the local priest, who is also a childhood friend. Anna clings to her beloved grandfather. She also grows close to Pierre, a free-spirited teenager who cares little about God. Anna is preparing for her confirmation, but her budding desire for Pierre shakes her faith. She longs to give herself over, body and soul... but doesn't know if it is to God, or something else? Written by
Les films du Bélier
Love Like Poison is a fascinating little film. I viewed it at a small French Film Festival (in South Africa no less), and did not expect too much. And honestly, that is what I received - not too much, but brilliantly presented and charmingly executed.
Following the story of young Anna as she struggles with becoming a woman, her grandfather's mortality and a young boy's affection, Love Like Poison captured me from the start. The film plays with the idea of childhood innocence and the fragility of adulthood. It delves deep into the flaws of every human being, but accentuates the beauty of its naivety. It does all this with a wonderful charm about it.
Many of the scenes might make certain viewers slightly uncomfortable, but that is where the film succeeds, and where it needs to go in order to explore the themes that it presents. Furthermore, it does not place judgment on the actions and conversations of the characters as they reflect what is in all of us.
Lastly, I will mention that the film would never have succeeded as it did, without its subtle hint of comedy. These very subtle bits are sometimes, in fact, laugh-out-loud, regardless of the circumstances. All the more reason to take life less seriously, and be able to laugh at the perfections and flaws of the human condition. The speech by Anna near the end in particular is beautiful and laugh-out-loud hilarious.
8/10 I loved it...
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