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I Feel Lucky

By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014
REVIEW: "YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL" by Jayne Waterford

I was not looking forward to this wonderful film by François Ozon however Marine Vacth the 17 year old Isabelle/Lea in "YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL" (2013) was a character that really impressed me. She was a 17 year old pragmatist uninterested in chasing love. Someone who was a little dead inside and a little hard but she became this way, before our eyes,

François Ozon asked questions about the nature of first sexual experiences and what sex is for 17 year olds.

I had all sorts of ideas about the ghoulish eye of a male producer oggling a 17 year old screwing lots of men but I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of Isabelle (Marine Vacth)'s psychological portrait. Isabelle coupling randomly with lots of highly excitable men is the only sex we see. Somehow that didn't seem to be the content of the film. Charlotte Rampling was a sobering note on the end of the production. She played the very sobering wife of a deceased john in a gorgeous scene where they were two women who missed him.

"YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL" seems to be a voice for rational discourse. I'm glad I saw it. 8/10
Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

François Ozon's
Writer & Director François Ozon
Producers Eric Altmayer & Nicolas Altmayer
Stars Marine Vacth, Geraldine Pailhas, Frederic Pierrot, Fantin Ravat, Johan Leysen, Charlotte Rampling
Release Date 1st May 2014
Category Drama
Running Time 94 minutes (1 hour, 34 minutes)
Rating R18+
Origin France

Distributor Hopscotch Films
Official Blurb "Nuanced, elegant and thought-provoking, Young & Beautiful, the latest film from renowned French director François Ozon (Swimming Pool) is a portrait of 17-year-old Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a beautiful yet distant, bourgeois Parisian student. Set over a year, divided into four seasonal chapters, it chronicles Isabelle’s sexual journey. From the awakening of her desires, and shedding her virginity in an emotionless act at her family’s summer vacation villa, this propels her when returning to Paris to embark on a secret life, hiring herself out as a high-end prostitute. There’s a calm sense of purpose to the way Isabelle approaches her transgressions, and when events take a dramatic turn, there’s no black-and-white answers.

The mysteries of adolescence, and in particular, the sense of control and power that can accompany a gorgeous girl’s discovery of her sexuality, are explored with hypnotic focus. Driven by a transfixing performance from the incandescent Marine Vacth, Young & Beautiful is both psychologically probing and unerringly graceful in its nonjudgmental restraint. It fuels our desires, captivates our intellect, and leaves us wondering whether our motivations can ever truly be known." - Hopscotch Films PR

Director François Ozonon location.
(L-R) Johan Leysen (Felix) and Marine Vacth (Isabelle) in François Ozon's "YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL" (2013).