Marie Baie des Anges | Chicago Reader

Marie Baie des Anges

A boy, a girl, and a gun figure in this story set on the French Riviera. Passive but with an obvious capacity for violence, Orso (Frederic Malgras) listlessly wanders the area, speaking little, stealing when the opportunity arises, inhabiting a romanticized emotional zone between angst and ennui. Marie (Vahina Giocante) is another stylishly dissipated teenager; half put off, half fascinated by the sexual aggressiveness of the American sailors she picks up on the beach, she begins a deceptively idyllic love affair. Expert long takes temporarily distract from the ponderous metaphors and sledgehammer poeticism—in yet another movie that opens with the end of the story then flashes back until it gets there again. Writer-director Manuel Pradal was around 30 when he made this first feature (1998), which reaches desperately for a youthful edge, especially in the superficially informal structuring of the conventional, even stodgy narrative.

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