Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2002
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Hubert Benhamdine, Nathalie Boutefeu, Serge Riaboukine, Florence Loiret, Antoine Goldet, Delphine Rollin, Valerie Stroh, Bernard Blancan, Marc Citti, Clotilde Hesme, Jean-Michel Portal, Joël Brisse, Judith Remy, Isabelle Ungaro
Director: JerOme Bonnell
Countries: France / Belgium
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains infrequent strong language
UK Release Date: 12 September 2003


LE CHIGNON D'OLGA is an intelligent ensemble film, made with great psychological insight and reminiscent, in its matter-of-fact nature and subtlety, of the films of Eric Rohmer. What makes the film even more remarkable is its stylistic and thematic maturity, considering that first time director, JerOme Bonnell, was only 23 years old when he made the film.

Julien (Hubert Benhamdine) and his sister Emma (Florence Loiret) lost their mother nearly a year ago. They still live in the house where they were born, in Beauce, with their father Gilles (Serge Riaboukine). They experience the pain of bereavement, but none of them is able to talk to the others about their feelings. The summer is drawing to a close. The little town seems empty, as many people have gone away on holiday. Desperate for love, Julien wanders aimlessly through the streets. He falls for an older sales assistant, Olga (Delphine Rollin) - and her alluring 'chignon' - who he sees in a bookshop. Secretly, he tries every means possible to get to know her better. He does not confide in anyone, not even his childhood friend Alice (Nathalie Boutefeu), with whom he spends most of his waking hours.

Serge Riaboukine shines as the father of a closely-knit, young family, dislocated by their shared grief. JerOme Bonnell's impressive debut is a tender, restrained story of love and mild obsession, his delicate style revealing the emotional complexities of familial ties and relationships.

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