Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
France/Switzerland, 2004. Saga-Productions, Ciné Manufacture, Télévision Suisse-Romande. Screenplay by Lionel Baier, Laurent Guido. Cinematography by Lionel Baier, Severine Barde. Produced by Robert Boner. Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Film Editing by Christine Hoffet.
A 20 year-old wanders aimlessly through Lausanne having cold, random sex with strange men to the chagrin of his best friend/protector. When he meets an older man who actually wants to treat him like a human being, he reacts in various ways, curious to the possibility that he could have a legitimate connection, and scared to the point of anger at the burgeoning responsibility to be more mature. While the first half is chock full of titillating graphic sex and nudity, the conclusion becomes more lovingly photographed and romantic in tone, making for an interesting if uneven experience. Pierre Chatagny is appealing in the lead, both emotionally and physically, a surprise considering he is actually an unprofessional actor who has never appeared in a film before. Director Lionel Baier’s emphasis on the character’s genuinely pitiable search for acceptance and not some pseudocool anti-heroism saves this one from oblivion; it’s not particularly poignant, and goes in some weird directions in the end, but it is rather pleasant.