September 13, 2020 6:44:29 pm
It’s the summer season of ’85 in Normandy, and two younger males are about to meet-cute round a capsized boat. Alexis Robin (Felix Lefebvre) is treading the waves, wanting round for assist, and David Gorman (Benjamin Voisin) hoves into view. The rescue leads inevitably to a relationship the place lust and love mix: what else can occur between two handsome youngsters, hormones working wild, sand between their toes, naked torsos glistening? It additionally results in a tragedy, in sluggish reveal.
One thing concerning the free-flowing electrical energy between the younger males reminds one of many early Ozon movies (Swimming Pool), the place there was an analogous tumble of semi-clothed people doused in undercurrents of suspense. With the looks of a 3rd younger particular person, the attractive English au pair Kate (Philippine Velge), we come to study, nearly as a throwaway reality, that there was one thing between her and the uber-sexy David, however there’s by no means any doubt about which aspect this triangle is skewed.
The sexual awakening of enticing adolescents could also be a trope, however with grasp filmmakers we anticipate a freshening, and with Ozon on the helm, unfiltered ardour. As an alternative, that is an auteur pulling again, leaning into conservatism, reminding us of his later, darker movies (By The Grace Of God). It feels unusual to see how a lot Ozon holds again, actually: his older avatar wouldn’t have thought twice a couple of a lot older feminine character and Alexis getting it on, the second between them clearly sexualized, however rigorously not sexual.
Primarily based on British creator Aidan Chamber’s YA novel Dance On My Grave, printed in ’82, Ozon’s movie harks again to a extra harmless pre-AIDS time (HIV would come into public consciousness a 12 months after the time of the movie). The high-waisted denims, the puffy Travolta hair, and the candy-striped outfits are additionally very 80s, as is the disapproval of the people who find themselves answerable for the children: the let-it-all-out period was nonetheless some methods off.
One thing concerning the lushness of the places, the glint of the ocean, the greenery, and the younger males coming into their homosexual identities, could remind you of Name Me By Your Title. However I missed the breath-stopping consciousness that constructed up between Luca Guadagnino’s male protagonists, and the feelings that marked them. I additionally flashed again to Summer time of ‘42, a a lot older movie, which additionally has a younger pubescent male, a seashore, and a summer season fling, however once more, that movie additionally has way more feeling than this new Ozon.
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Seduction has all the time been Ozon’s factor, and the way superbly he does it in his greatest work. On this one, it retains grabbing at us, however not all the time successfully: Summer time of 85 is Ozon in minor key.
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