Thursday, 13 August 2009

À ma soeur! (2001) a.k.a. Fat Girl

Runtime: 82
Language: French (hardcoded English Subtitles)
Country: France
Color: Colour
IMDb Link:

Director: Catherine Breillat
Anaïs Reboux ... Anaïs Pingot
Roxane Mesquida ... Elena Pingot
Libero De Rienzo ... Fernando
Arsinée Khanjian ... Mother
Romain Goupil ... François Pingot / Father
Laura Betti ... Fernando's Mother
Albert Goldberg ... The Killer
Odette Barrière ... Friend at Residence
Ann Matthijsse ... Friend at Residence
Pierre Renverseau ... Friend at Residence
Jean-Marc Boulanger ... Friend at Residence
Frederick Bodin ... Waiter
Michel Guillemin ... Janitor
Josette Cathalan ... Saleswoman
Claude Sese ... Police Officer

Description: Catherine Breillat's A Ma Soeur! is a touchingly honest but also highly disturbing account of two French middle-class teenage sisters' family holiday. As sexually explicit as Breillat's earlier picture, Romance, this film focuses on the travails of flabby 12-year-old Anais Pingot (Anais Reboux), who is the bane and the opposite of her glamorous elder sister Elena (Roxane Mesquida). Constantly having to live in the shadow of Elena and being nagged by her workaholic father (Romain Goupil), lonely Anais resorts to eating and her imagination for pleasure. Her 15-year-old sister, in contrast, is desperate to find romantic love. Their differences are harshly exposed when Elena starts a frantic affair with Italian law student Fernando (Libero De Rienzo). To minimise the risk of being discovered by their parents, Anais accompanies Fernando and Elena throughout their clumsy encounters. She's even present during the pair's sexual experimentation.

Anais Reboux's depiction of an introverted young woman is both shocking and true to life, particularly the scene when she swims around a swimming pool kissing and conversing with the pool's diving board and steps as if they were imaginary lovers. The film actually thrives on very little, a simple plot, a 25-minute bedroom scene, and the monotony of the fatal motorway trip home. Like violence itself, the violent ending seems a particularly pointless and baffling finale for an otherwise thought-provoking film.

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