Whilst there is still one more film I saw at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, I wanted to get my review of the closing film done first. As I watched the opening film, Minari, I wanted to make sure I saw the closing film as well. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed with this.
The film follows Suzanne, a teenager living in Paris, who finds herself becoming attracted to the much older actor Raphaël and the film focuses on the growing relationship the two have. Now there is a bit of an uncomfortable element with the age gap between Suzanne and Raphaël that does make the film as a whole suffer. Being written, directed by and starting Suzanne Lindon, who first wrote the script when she was 15, there is a bit more nuance than you’d normally expect in a film like this, but this leads into the big problem I had with the film. There have been times when I’ve criticised films for being too long, but this is a case of a film being too short. It’s just over an hour long and it takes half an hour for Suzanne and Raphaël to first talk to each other. As such, there isn’t really enough time in the film for their relationship to be fully explored, especially when it comes to the ending which feels pretty abrupt.
It also doesn’t help that there are quite a few scenes which end up feeling superfluous to the plot, especially in the first half. I get that they were in there to set up Suzanne’s character, but it ends up taking time away from the central emotional point of the film, which makes it suffer as a whole. The film really needed to be around 15/20 minutes longer for the emotions Lindon wants us to feel to really resonate. As it stands, it ends up feeling really rushed, especially at the end.
One part of the film I thought worked pretty well was the use of music and dance. Lindon uses these elements well to put the audience in the emotional headspace of the characters, but it did make me think that the film probably would have worked better as a full blown musical.
On the whole, there was the potential for an interesting film here but the short length means that the subject matter is not given as much attention as it should have. There is real talent with Susanne Lindon and it’ll be interesting to see what she does next, but on the whole this film doesn’t really work.
My Rating: 2.5/5