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Look At Me [DVD]
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Coming-of-age comedy drama by French director Agnès Jaoui ('Le Gout des Autres'). Lolita (Marilou Berry) is the 20-year-old daughter of eminent writer and editor Etienne Cassard (Jean-Pierre Bacri). Suffering from low self-esteem and a weight problem, Lolita has spent her life very much in the shadow of her brilliant father - and has always doubted whether people actually want to know her, or simply get close to him by association. As she struggles to assert herself as an adult and find her path in life - taking singing lessons with voice coach Sylvia (played by the director, Jaoui) and becoming involved with a young man called Sebastien (Kéine Bouhiza), she comes to realise that the principal thing she must come to terms with is the lack of attention she has always had from her father.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lolita is attending singing lessons with Sylvia and we first see Lolita's problems resulting from her lack of self-esteem. She sees herself as ugly because of her obesity (in fact, she is quite pretty). This leads her to reject friendly approaches from people and her views, in her eyes, are confirmed. However, there is truth in what she thinks. Sylvia, when she learns that Lolita's father is the famous writer, someone Sylvia much admires, agrees to do a teaching session about which she was previously doubtful. Sebastien later appears to hang around because Cassard offers to help him with employment.
Lolita (the name is surely a sardonic joke by the writers) tells Sebastien that she is a 'zero'. No one likes her for herself, no one loves her though that is not really correct.Read more ›
Crucially, however, you are often left wondering who is the star of the film. Lolita is a pretty (or plain) young woman who is conscious that she is overweight and who is struggling to build a career as a singer. Her father is a successful novelist who seems to have devoted most of his life to ignoring her. Lolita (and there's an obvious pun in the name), craves his attention, his respect, his love. She wants to be noticed. But she is noticed only when people identify her as the daughter of the great man.
"Look at Me" ('Comme une Image' - like a picture, like an image), however, finds its narrative dynamism in the tale of two novelists - the one famous but racked by an inability to find further inspiration, the other initially struggling then catapulted into the limelight through his wife's use of Lolita's influence. Neither appears able to understand the people around him. Or are they just blinded by success, so blinded they become self-obsessed and unable to see beyond than their own fame, their own image?
Lolita's father devotes more attention to his phone than he does to her. She becomes an artefact, a series of events in his life to be patronised from time to time. He can see the talent in another writer, but is unaware that his own daughter might have talent of her own.Read more ›
At times such French "lives of the intelligentsia" films can appear more than a little self-absorbed (the Scott Thomas character in "Sarah's Key" for example) but the central role of Lolita and her pain and her father's constant (and consistent) lack of the affection she craves made this more than just soap opera. No-one seeks to be unpleasant but there is a deal of cruelty underlying this outwardly placid piece.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After half an hour of waiting for something interesting to happen, I decided I had more stimulating things to do with my life. Read morePublished on 11 Jun. 2012 by brian
I agree totally with the comment about Agnes Jaoui being some sort of national treasure in France. Her "Les goutes des autres" is a masterpiece of film making and this effort... Read morePublished on 6 Jun. 2010 by Ian Thumwood
Agnes Jaoui must by now be regarded as a Cultural Treasure in France. She deserves it. Her work for the screen is sharp, witty, beautifully observed and flawlessly acted. Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2010 by Green Knight
A wonderful film in so many ways as indicated by the other reviewers, I think Comme une Image (a title which can be read at so many levels) is deceptively profound in the way that,... Read morePublished on 25 Jan. 2008 by Mr. T. McFadyen
This film is serious and funny at the same time. It observes very well the games people play with each other, based on their own desires and unfulfilled dreams. Read morePublished on 4 Oct. 2006 by Nish Pfister
LOOK AT ME would be an excellent instructional film for a class in family counseling. As an entertainment vehicle, it's a non-starter. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2005 by Mr. Joe