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Lovely Rita Review

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Alienated from her parents and bored with school, a sulky teenager divides her time between stalking a bus driver and committing minor acts of rebellion with a younger, sickly neighbour.

★★★★

Evidence that Michael Haneke's recent pre-eminence has sparked an Austrian film renaissance as Jessica Hausner's debut is a carefully observed study of small-town adolescent ennui.

Barbara Osika gives a splendidly sulky performance as a friendless teenager who has reached a state of disillusionment without ever savouring curiosity.

Alienated from her parents and bored with school, she divides her time between stalking a bus driver (Fiala) and committing minor acts of rebellion with a younger, sickly neighbour (Bauer).

As with a number of arthouse films, the ending leaves something to be desired. But, courtesy of its meticulously mundane digital imagery, this is a film of precise details that sketches an outline of existence and then leaves it to the audience to draw their own conclusions.

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