Belle Épine | Chicago Reader

Belle Épine

Rated NR 80 minutes 2010

France has produced so many naturalistic dramas about teenage delinquents that the films practically constitute their own genre. This 2010 debut film by Rebecca Zlotowski may not be a genuine breakthrough like Maurice Pialat's À Nos Amours (1983) or Olivier Assayas's Cold Water (1994), to cite two apparent influences, but it's confident, well-paced, and inventive in its use of wide-screen photography and multitrack sound design. Léa Seydoux plays a 16-year-old girl experimenting with bad behavior after her mother's death; she gives the sort of performance critics like to call "courageous," which is to say she strips frequently and submits to a fair amount of onscreen humiliation. In French with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Rebecca Zlotowski

Producer: Frédéric Jouve

Cast: Léa Seydoux, Anaïs Demoustier, Johan Libéreau, Guillaume Gouix, Anna Sigalevitch, Marie Matheron, Marina Tomé, Carlo Brandt, Nicolas Maury, Michael Abiteboul, Swann Arlaud, Agathe Schlenker, Sébastien Haddouk and Valérie Schlumberger

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