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Anne (Juliette Binoche) is a journalist who, during her investigation into prostitution, encounters two young girls who use their bodies as a way to make easy money. Fascinated by them, she is drawn into their world, which stands in marked contrast to her own bourgeois life. Juliette Binoche gives a characteristically committed performance in Malgorzata Szunowska s frank drama, whose camera never shies away from the details of the girl s work, always capturing Anne s response to it.
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Acting-wise, there's no problem. Binoche is never less than engaging as the 'beast of burden' Anne, a put-upon trophy wife (to Louis-Do de Lencquesaing's businessman Patrick) who discovers, to her surprise, that both 'escorts' she has managed to persuade to be interviewed for her magazine article are actually articulate, ambitious young women, apparently content in their new-found, lucrative side-jobs. Each of Anais Demoustier and Joanna Kulig are very impressive as (respectively) the upwardly mobile, but reserved Charlotte (with steady boyfriend still in tow) and the more extrovert Polish student Alicja - the latter who draws Anne out of her staid, abstinent self, thereby fostering a degree of rebellious self-discovery in the journalist. Unfortunately, having set up two potentially intriguing characters in Charlotte and Alicja, neither are (for me) satisfactorily developed (despite each experiencing 'rude awakenings' in their new 'careers') and we are left with the story of Binoche's Anne as the film's centrepiece, whose own sexual (re)awakening is (whilst convincingly done by the actress) only pursued to rather inconsequential effect.
Finely and intimately directed by Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from the viewpoints of a driven reporter and two young call girls, draws a somewhat engaging portrayal of a middle-aged woman who after getting to know and becoming intrigued by a lifestyle that is very foreign to that of her own, begins to care more about the theme of her article than her own family.Read more ›
In these days of free internet porn, I wonder just how much longer film-makers are going to survive by "pushing back the boundaries".
For a really good film about student prostitution, I'd recommend Mes chères Etudes (Student Services) with Deborah François.
It's quite an interesting film, though it is quite difficult to get into, as it's slow, and it's development does take a long time. Both Anaïs and Joanna are both good actors, and of course Juliette gives us a stirling performance. Some people may ask though, what separates this from porn and just a film though, and yes, that is a good question, as there are some scenes you'd normally get on a porn movie, though I don't think you could really get excited over this movie as it's not done glamorously and even at times it's quite cringe worthy.
The sound on this was excellent, with a good mix and sounds coming from all angles, the dialogue is well mixed too. The picture is good, clear and well coloured.
Altogether this is an interesting film, but I don't think I'd actually buy it as it has no come back features to it, once you've seen it, you've seen it. There's no fascinating moment where you think I really need to see that again, simply because it's slow and the progression can be minimal.
Watch out for François Civil, I can see him being a star in a few years time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Frightening movie that exposes male sadism and young female wantonness. However, the performances by the female stars are stunning.Published 4 months ago by Le Grand
So typical of continental films (this is French) it has lots of wasted inactivity, though the filming is good, and it is short on dialogue. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Stave