So many high school movies are based around the affairs or the students wishing they were having affairs. La Belle Personne or The Beautiful Person is definitely in the earlier camp. It’s all circled around the new girl in school, Junie played by Léa Seydoux.
Junie is the object of attention and is with Otto (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) but quickly falls for her Italian teacher, Nemours (Louis Garrel). Needless to say things get complicated as passion rises and more and more secrets are created.
The emotions doesn’t arise from wanting the lovers to be matched up, but more about the curiosity of whether or not the web can maintain itself. The problem is the web is too complicated, at least for a first viewing. Notes almost need to be taken because writer/director Christophe Honoré doesn’t make it easy. His treats the audience with respect by making the story feel as organic as possible.
The dialog and acting is all top-notch without being flashy. Honoré moves the camera in a voyeuristic like fashion by never being too close to its subjects. Most of the interactions are filmed in a wider shot to great effect. This allows the actors to be subtle and even hidden from the audience at times. Again, this creates disconnect from the story, but makes it all the more curious at the same time.
Honoré blends styles as he ranges from natural to a more artificial tone. The frame rate will move a little faster or a character will sing along with the non-digetic song. It is like he is commenting on the story as it unraveling. Honoré does not romanticize Junie. She could just be the new girl instead of The Beautiful Person. From this observation comes tragedy and consequences that could have been prevented depending on your interpretation.
This is a film that is difficult to recommend because so many elements are working, but there is a fleeting factor to the film. It’s not impacting in any way aside from an examination of the parts, not the whole.
There are no extras on the disc aside from the trailer.
Film: 3.5 Yaps
Extras: 1 Yap