|BREATHE (RESPIRE) (director/writer: Melanie Laurent; screenwriters: Julien Lambroschini/based on the Ya novel by Anne-Sophie Brasme; cinematographer: Arnaud Potier; editor: Guerric Catala; music: Marc Chouarian; cast: Josephine Japy (Charlene), Lou De Laage (Sarah), Isabelle Carré (Vanessa), Claire Keim (Laura), Rasha Bukvic (Père Charlie), Carole Franck (Mère Sarah), Roxane Duran (Victoire), Thomas Solivéres (Gastine), Camille Claris (Delphine), Louka Meliava (Lucas), Louise Grinberg (Louise), Fanny Sidney (Isa), Alejandro Albarracín (Esteban); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bruno Levy; Film Movemen; 2014-France-in English, French, Italian, Spanish dialogue, with English subtitles when appropriate)|
|"A modest but keenly observed
coming-of-age drama about an average
by Dennis Schwartz
modest but keenly observed coming-of-age drama about
an average suburban teenager and how her intense
friendship by the third act turns into a chilling
tragic conclusion. The director is the French
actress Melanie Laurent ("The Adopted"),
who co-writes her sophomore venture with Julien
Lambroschini. It's based on the bestselling
novel Ya by Anne-Sophie Brasme.
She wrote it when she was 16.
(Josephine Japy) is a lonely
17-year-old high school student in a provincial French
town, who welcomes school as a place to escape from
her bickering irreconcilable parents (Isabelle
Carre and Rasha Bukvic). Things change for
Charlie when she befriends the new exciting student
Sarah (Lou De Laage), who was
sent by her Nigeria dwelling parents to live with an
aunt when the situation in Nigeria became politically
tense. Mom works for an NGO in Nigeria.
sour after the sophisticated and wilder Sarah
spends the summer vacation at the sea coast with
Charlie's family. Sarah proves to be a sneaky
manipulator, who is only interested in herself and
domineering others. When the decent Charlie learns a
secret about Sarah after finding inconsistencies
in her stories, things begin to turn sinister. Upon
their return to school Sarah spreads vicious lies
about Charlie and messes with her good reputation,
which causes great angst for the nice girl.
Sensitively directed by Laurent, brilliantly acted by both Japy as the ingenue and by De Laage as the femme fatale, and gorgeously filmed by Arnaud Potierand.
REVIEWED ON 1/2/2016 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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