SUMMER OF 85
François Ozon vividly captures both the rush of first love and its devastating aftermath in this shapeshifting, 1980s-set tale of a passionate but doomed gay love affair set in sunny, coastal France.
Never content to remain with one style or genre for long, prolific French auteur François Ozon (last seen in PFF with last year’s fact-based abuse exposé BY THE GRACE OF GOD) returns to the summery, psychosexual territory of his international breakthrough SWIMMING POOL in this unconventional coming-of-age drama. Set in scenic coastal France in 1985, the film is told from the nostalgia-shaded, morosely romantic viewpoint of 16-year-old Alexis (Félix Lefebvre). Unsure whether to pursue his literary aspirations in school or get a job to appease his blue-collar dad, Alexis is desperate for affection when he’s swooped into the inner circle of older stranger David (Benjamin Voisin). Soon the boys’ flirtatious friendship blossoms into something much more, yet David’s charismatic demeanor belies a mercurial, tempestuous side that threatens to blight their idyllic summer fling. Ozon inventively blends breezy teen romance with a looming mystery, announcing at the outset that the story will be marked by death, but cutting back and forth between past and present so that the pieces of the puzzle don’t fall into place until the film’s unforgettable, emotionally devastating climax.
CAST: Félix Lefebvre, Benjamin Voisin, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Melvil Poupaud
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