Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Film review: JEUNE & JOLIE

Directed by Francois Ozon


Like almost any other French film, Jeune & Jolie is very French. This time it’s Francois Ozon telling a story of a pretty 17-year-old girl who becomes aware of her sexuality and starts working as a prostitute. You will see Paris, you will hear Francoise Hardy playing in the backround, and you will wonder whether this is crude or romantic.

Ozon’s previous film, In The House, was brilliant. Whatever was provocative about it remained more or less understated, and you had an intriguing, cleverly scripted story to follow. This time, though, the plot seems weak, and regrettably Ozon seems content with it.

The film looks gorgeous and those who are in it look gorgeous too. The girl is indeed jolie, and when you witness the miserable perverts abusing and insulting her – the desired effect is certainly reached. It’s not pretty. However, there’s one who treats her like a gentleman (yes, I know how it sounds), and naturally he’s the only one she comes back to again and again..

It’s a well-executed film, and there’s enough thought-provoking stuff you can get out of it. The problem is, the story lacks depth and seems too contrived to be in any way emotional. And it all comes to a particularly far-fetched ending that tells us what sort of fanciful ideas Ozon is having these days. I’m not getting into details, but let’s just say it’s interesting, and if you buy it – well, there's definitely some of that French blood in you.

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