A naifish teen from a loving, well-to-do clan, Isabelle (Vacth) seemingly has the world at her feet. But her sexual journey of discovery leads her into a dark double-life.
A kind of baby Belle De Jour, François Ozon’s cracking character study is a detailed, mesmerising slow burn. Played out in four seasonal chapters, the movie follows 17 year-old Isabelle (Marine Vacth) from losing her virginity to a German bozo to becoming a tech-savvy call girl whose secret life is then exposed in dramatic ways you won’t see coming. Ozon’s filmmaking is elegant, realistic and refined, but even more impressive is his refusal to justify or explain away Isabelle’s motivations. In this respect he is helped by the terrific Vacth: at once self-possessed but adrift, world-weary yet tender. A star is born.
Another typically assured piece of work from Ozon with a showstopping turn from newcomer Vacth. Expect to see a lot more from her.
Reviewed by Ian Freer