Be My Star | Chicago Reader

Be My Star

An unexpectedly fresh, unsentimental take on first love is delicately yet forcefully presented in this slip of a film—it's 65 minutes long—by first-time feature director Valeska Grisebach. Fourteen-year-old Nicole lives with her mother and sister in an apartment in Berlin, and her flirtation with the callow Christopher rapidly becomes serious when the two spend time together while her mother works a night shift. Their emotional and physical interactions seem stunted and perverse—they talk about what their parents do or what they've heard in movies and on television. It's more poignant than funny when, after a few brief encounters, Christopher complains, “It's not like it was at the beginning.” Clearly they need more comfort from each other than their thin, childish bodies can provide, but in the adolescent city of Berlin, which is suffering its own growing pains, E.M. Forster's dictum of “only connect” has never seemed more difficult.

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