Login

Ma Vraie Vie A Rouen Review

Image for Ma Vraie Vie A Rouen

Gay figure-skater sets out to record every incident of his family’s life through the lens of the camcorder receives for his 16th birthday.

★★★★★

Some 45 years after the New Wavers first highlighted a movie's 'filmic' nature, French directors are still obsessed with playing games with reality. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau here set out to record every incident through the lens of the camcorder that gay figure-skater Jimmy Tavares receives for his 16th birthday.

Consequently, they revel in the challenge of ensuring he's more than a mere off-screen presence and include such sight gags as his increasingly competent camerawork. But there's more to this rites-of-passage picture than technical mischief and some postcard vistas of Rouen.

The co-directors deftly capture the insecurities and inexperience of youth, while also exploring the regret of Tavares's lonely grandmother, Hélène Sugère, and the determination of his widowed mother, Ariane Ascaride, to make the most of her second chance. It's occasionally self-conscious, but always engaging, inventive and charmingly played.