The subject of young love is explored in the sense of it being wonderful, frightening, all-consuming, and sometimes fleeing.
Review (with Spoilers)
In the pursuit of seeing the filmography of actors I admire, consider this me continuing to see as many Lea Seydoux films as I can. For be it the joy of her smile, or deviant nature sometimes of it; the passion she invokes in those who wish to have her in her films, whether the love is platonic or otherwise; or simply her abilities on her own; it is hard to deny she has the talent which makes you not just look forward to her future roles, but want to dig into her past. Now, as for how this film stands amongst her filmography, look below.
Characters & Story
After her mother’s death, Junie (Léa Seydoux) finds herself living with her cousin Mathias (Esteban Alegria) as well as going to his school. This leads to her becoming the talk of the school. The guys like her, some of the girls are jealous, but only Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) finds himself winning her affections. Well, to a point. As for Mathias, like Junie, he has his own issues with love since he is bearing a secret. One he asks Junie’s Italian teacher Mr. Nemours (Louis Garrel) to help him hide. Something he does with hesitation if just because he has his own drama he can barely deal with.
In the film, there is certainly enough drama to keep you entertained. Mostly thanks to Mr. Nemours and Mathias. For with Mathias’ secret creating a rather interesting plot, which is rather short mind you, and then Mr. Nemours creating multiple situations which cause the women in his life to become upset, and even someone to die, both help liven up the production from seeming bland.
Unfortunately, though, all Seydoux gives us in this film is her beauty. Making it seem her abilities as an actress in 2008, when this film was released, were nowhere near what they are now. For with her seeming dead in the face, outside of her signature smile, and barely seeming like the star of her own movie, I must admit I was disappointed. Though, in general, the movie as a whole sort of bored me. For while there is death, break-ups, secret lovers, and a handful of nudity, there isn’t much to wow you. Add in a bit of a learning curve to know who is who, since Mathias and Mr. Nemours look similar enough to get confused, as well as co-stars Jacob (Jacob Lyon) and Henri (Simon Truxillo), and then you have the icing on an average looking cake.
Overall: TV Viewing
I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with this movie yet, at the same time, I feel like I need to look at this as more of a stepping stone for Seydoux’s career than anything. After all, while her 8th production, it seemed to be one of her first big ones. With that said, though, I’m labeling this TV Viewing for it certainly doesn’t stand out and make me want to re-watch the film or share it. For while the adolescent drama is interesting, as well as the role Mr. Nemours plays in it, no character really draws you in that well and pretty much the best thing the film has to offer is beautiful faces more than performances.