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HomeentertainmentMovie News'Last Summer' review: Catherine Breillat's story of stepmother seduction pushes boundaries

'Last Summer' review: Catherine Breillat's story of stepmother seduction pushes boundaries

Like some of her most memorable films, including 44 Fillette, Romance, Sex is Comedy and Anatomy of Hell, the new French screenwriter and director Catherine Breillat The feature film, Last Summer (L’Été dernier), straddles dangerously between disturbing drama, dark comedy and sexual exploitation Boundary – which is exactly where the director wants to be.

On the surface, the plot seems to be lifted out of a stepmother porn movie about a successful lawyer Annie ( Léa Drucker) has an illicit relationship with her stepson Théo (Samuel Kircher), a rebellious 17 years old and looks like a double for Timothée Chalamet. But while the film might at first glance follow that template, including some fairly straightforward sex scenes, Brera went after more than Skinemax fodder, exploring the dreary, grim lives the bourgeoisie are forced to live. Depths of desire, and the manipulation that can take place between two lovers with a huge age gap.

last summer

bottom line Only in France.

Place : Cannes Film Festival (Competition) Throwing: Léa Drucker, Samuel Kircher, Olivier Rabourdin, Clotilde Courau, Serena Hu, Angela Chen Director and screenwriter: Catherine Breillat 1 Hour2019 Minute

premiered at Cannes, last summer felt like Todd Haynes’ Sexy French Cousins’ May Dec
, which was played earlier in the festival, documents a long and contentious relationship between a teenage boy and a woman twice his age. But while Haynes is interested in how such a love story can shake the American psyche and sustain it over time, Brera’s more destructive instincts are looking for how it can wreak havoc on a comfortable life. — not so much because of the major age difference as because of social conventions that both constrain and compel.

Breyat adapted from 1175678 Danish film Queen of Hearts , this is also a very high Lou’s take on the thorny topic of sexual abuse – it’s no coincidence that this is exactly what the combative Annie specializes in at her law firm. In the film’s opening scene, she tells a young female client who hired her to handle a rape case that “sometimes the victim becomes the accused”—and much of Last Summer is about how this applies first to Anne and then to teenage Theo, who moves into the spacious country house where Anne lives with the young man’s father Pierre (Olivier Labourtine) .

Bad Boy was arrested for beating up a prep school teacher in Switzerland, where he lived with his mother, and Théo bounced around the house bare-chested, pulling as much as he could Killing the time with a rested bitch face. However, to Pierre and Anne’s very sweet adopted daughters Serena (Serena Hu) and Angela (Hu Anqi), he’s a rather funny older brother, but seems to have a genuine hatred for his father, a tight-lipped businessman who lasts financial worries.

Théo seduces Anne to irritate Pierre or just because he’s boring scenes are ripe for the stepson and stepmother to soon start romping around the countryside, eventually between the sheets. There are three long sex sequences, each in close-up—and, unlike many Breillat films, there is hardly any nudity here—and each reveals one character gaining pleasure at the expense of another. First, in a scene without any passion, Pierre wins over Anne. In the second shot, Théo demonstrates a heinous orgasm as he sleeps with his stepmother for the first time. In the third game, Annie finally got her wish.

In Breillat’s twisted world, desire is not something shared with each other, but stolen from others or imposed on them, often at their most vulnerable. (The director’s last highly autobiographical film was titled Abuse of Weakness.) At first, Théo seems to be exploiting Anne’s stagnant character through his killer looks and menacing charisma. previous love life. But as Last Summer progresses, the tables turn and Anne has the upper hand more clearly, using her legal cunning to corner Théo.

A normal Hollywood movie would turn the third act into a Fatal Attraction type thriller, although Breillat sometimes leans in that direction , bringing in recordings and lawsuits, but she was too much to go there. By reining in her sexuality, Anne risks hurting Theo and the increasingly vulnerable Pierre, and we begin to wonder if she cares if we care. Totally Convincing Drucker ( Custody), she deserves more leading roles like this one, but what she portrays is not so much the evil of a stepmother as a woman’s unbridled search for herself.

Some viewers will be hesitant because Anne finally wants her stepson boy toy and eats him, but Last Summer is a challenge A film of moral boundaries and narrative conventions. With her punk attitude—set to an original Sonic Youth song—Breillat once again pushes us to the limits of what’s acceptable, making us ask ourselves if there should be any limits.

Full credits

Venue: Cannes Film Festival (Competition) Production company: SBS Cast: Léa Drucker, Samuel Kircher, Olivier Labourdin, Clotilde Coulau, Serena Hu , Angela ChenDirector: Catherine Breillat Writer: Catherine Breillat, in collaboration with Poscal Bonitzer, from the film Queen of Hearts by Maren Louise Kaëhne With May El-Toukhy, Directed by May El-Toukhy Produced Filmmaker: Saïd Ben Saïd Executive Producers: René Ezra, Caroline Blanco, Clifford Werber Director of Photography: Jeanne Lapoirie Production designer: Sébastien Danos
Costume Designer: Khadija Zeggaï Editing: François Quiqueré
Music cooperation: Kim Gordon Sales: Pyramid International French 1 hour44 minute

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