Catherine Breillat's second adaptation of a Charles Perrault fairy tale, after Bluebeard (2009), is even darker and stranger than its predecessor, though it's no less personal. Again a children's myth becomes an allegory about girls' fear of adulthood and sexuality, though the more foreboding tone here only underlines the spontaneity of Breillat's mostly nonprofessional players. Honing the sparse, controlled framing that's always been central to her work, Breillat comes closer than ever to one of her models, Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses: like that movie, this one keeps the action at an analytic distance even as the characters' behavior becomes more irrational. Breillat makes the story even more enigmatic by beginning it in the early 1800s and concluding it, with the same characters, in the present. In French with subtitles.
Director: Catherine Breillat
Producer: Sylvette Frydman and Jean-François Lepetit
Cast: Carla Besnaïnou, Julia Artamonov, Kerian Mayan, David Chausse and Leslie Lipkins