Marie Baie Des Anges

on August 01, 2008 by Kevin Courrier
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   Usually the last place one would set a movie about street kids is somewhere like the French Riviera, with its brightly intoxicating colors, but this is where Manuel Pradal places this unusual and doomed love story about a young thief and his streetwise girlfriend. Marie (Vahina Giocante) is a 15-year-old who is already her own woman, living off the food, champagne and affections of U.S. sailors and anyone who can show her a good time. Orso (Frederic Malgras) is a petty thief with hooded eyes who's used to keeping to himself. When they meet, his eyes finally open and, for the first time, she feels something more than transient desire. But their attempts at idyllic love come crashing down when they revert back to the survival instincts they've chosen to live by.
   In technical terms, this is an amazingly fluid piece of work, even though Pradal's script is so elliptical that it's hard to keep track of the events happening in the story. Sometimes the film evokes Jean-Luc Godard's love of movement (in which movement itself tells the story), but Pradal is not yet the confident storyteller who can pull this off successfully. Giocante is a great camera subject with hints of the young Bardot, or Sandrine Bonnaire in "A Nos Amours," but some part of her is still obscure. Malgras' brooding isn't too eloquent, either; he seems remote in ways that don't always engage the audience. And, by the time they find each other and fall in love, their fate doesn't really seem too consequential.    Starring Vahina Giocante, Frederic Malgras, Amira Casar and David Kilner. Directed and written by Manuel Pradal. Produced by Philippe Rousselet. A Sony Classics release. Drama. French-language; English subtitles. Rated R for violence including some sexual assaults, sexuality, language and teen lawlessness. Running time: 90 min. Opens 6/19. Screened at Sundance.
Tags: Starring Vahina Giocante, Frederic Malgras, Amira Casar and David Kilner. Directed, written by Manuel Pradal, Produced by Philippe Rousselet, Sony, Drama
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