Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
France/Portugal, 2002. Arte France Cinema, CB Films, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Flach Film, France Télévision Images 2, Studio Images. Screenplay by Catherine Breillat. Cinematography by Laurent Machuel. Produced by Jean-François Lepetit. Production Design by Frederique Belvaux. Costume Design by Valerie Guegan. Film Editing by Pascal Chavance. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
Provocative filmmaker Catherine Breillat goes self-reflexive in one of her most highly enjoyable films, an examination of the process of making films with nudity and sexual content. Riffing off her experiences working on her famously controversial Fat Girl, it features a brilliant Anne Parillaud as a director who is having a hell of a time getting her two young leads (Roxane Mesquida, Grégoire Colin) to put across a reasonable semblance of intimacy, both emotional and physical, while also trying to negotiate their willingness to participate in her film’s more explicit scenes. There are a lot of long, drawn-out conversations, not all of which are necessary or captivating, but Breillat avoids the pitfalls of her usual pretentiousness by including a lot of humour; the sequence in which Colin is forced to wear a fake erect penis over his own (which is what his counterpart actor in Fat Girl experienced) is a terrific source of laughs.