L'Eau Froide

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Commissioned as part of a series in which directors went back to their adolescence, this is a brave, moving film, set in the outskirts of Paris in 1972. It's a portrait of two delinquents, both from broken homes, and both about to be packed off to institutional care. Christine is on the verge of a mental breakdown, and Gilles, who buys dynamite for kicks, is headed for boarding school. Assayas shoots with a hand-held camera and favours cold, blue lighting and diagetic sound. He's rewarded with two resolutely natural, unshowy performances by Ledoyen and Fouquet, and a tremendous emotional pull. The centrepiece is a marvellously sustained midnight party sequence (a requirement of the series), where a horde of teens group, groove and get off to the sounds of Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Leonard Cohen and Alice Cooper. Recommended.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Olivier Assayas
Screenwriter: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Virginie Ledoyen
Cyprien Fouquet
Laszlo Szabo
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
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