Derrière moi (2008) Poster

(2008)

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8/10
Simple Story with Stunning Cinematography
Christian12 June 2009
A 23 year-old drifter out-of-towner is drawn to a small town and befriends a 14 year-old girl who is more than willing to be shown the ins and outs of experiencing life a little more... but is it too much more? The story unfolds slowly. It is very simple and revolves around relatively uneventful every day adolescent life. The acting of the two female leads is noteworthy and forms the backbone of the intimate interaction with the viewer. There is a bit more spice to the storyline, but it is not what makes this film especially remarkable.

Rafaël Ouellet is the real revelation here. He is the writer, director and most importantly cinematographer of this visual feast. From plush scenery to mostly dark scenes contrasted by light interest, his composition is of high artistic value. Great use of focus and out-of-focus, light saturation, panning and framing. He put things in and out of frame elegantly to tell the story with the camera. His point of views often tell more than the dialogue.

Lasting ephemeral images. A cinematic painting.
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Interesting French-Canuck film let down by its ending
lazarillo8 December 2013
This obscure French-Canadian film is about a young teenage girl who becomes attracted to an older female drifter and is drawn into her fast lifestyle. It's a fairly realistic film, but, to my mind at least, kind of goes off the rails at the end.

The protagonist is supposed to be a naïve 14-year-old, but she often looks more like an attractive senior in high school, which I suspect is more what she was in real life--not because she has graphic sex or nude scenes in the movie--but because on several occasions she is seen SMOKING, and having a real teenager smoking in a movie these days goes over about as well as clubbing real baby seals. Sometimes having a 18-plus actress playing a 14 year old can damage the plausibility of the movie, but that's not a serious problem here as both actresses do a good job and are generally convincing in their roles.

The problem is while this may have been believable as a singular fictional story, that would have required a bit more character development. Instead the film seem to veer into the area of alarmist "social commentary" that south of the (US-Canadian) border tends to be relegated to TV movies and Lifetime Channel. It also doesn't ring entirely true. Small-town kids can get in a lot of trouble right in their own small towns, but the idea they are going to be preyed upon by sophisticated "city folk" because there just aren't enough homeless runaways and drug addicts in the city for these people to prey upon is not entirely believable. This is an interesting film, but it should have stuck more to being a single character study and not opted at the end for rather trite social commentary
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