This is a fine little film that is full of layered complexity, plausible characters, credible social commentary and talented and attractive characters. Director Robert Salis, while lacing the story through with powerful eroticism, keeps the overall feel very cool. There is more tension than emotion; something not that unusual in French films. The principal characters on offer in the story--Paul (the provincial bourgeois business student), Agnes (the urban activist and Paul's girlfriend), Mecir (the working class French Arab who seduces Paul) and Louis-Arnault (Paul's aristocratic roommate and object of his burgeoning sexual interest)--form a turbulent but fascinating network of relationships.
The film is visually beautiful, largely because the actors are all handsome/beautiful and their physical charms are fully displayed throughout. DON"T READ IF YOU HAVEN"T SEEN THE FILM YET. The conclusion is more true to life than it is satisfying. The viewer's natural desire to see a definitive outcome for Paul is not fulfilled. The character of Mecir, arguably the most sympathetic and meritorious in the story, is not rewarded for his directness and honesty, but at least there is hope that his positive approach to life will carry him through. Louis-Arnault, the most self-aware and most (passive) aggressive player in the story, takes no risks to his preordained life as one of the rich and powerful.
"Grande Ecole" would never have been made in Hollywood, and not just because of the uniquely French context of the elite business school. There are just too many subjects that popular American cinema will not risk taking on--elitism/classism, racism, bisexuality, etc. More's the pity because they are all basic to most societies, including U.S.