The wayward Miller has always pursued his own fancy; from the adolescent problems of The Best Way to Walk, through the detections of This Sweet Sickness and The Inquisitor, up to the scatty Mortelle Randonnée, there has been no obvious thread running through his work. An Impudent Girl, however - an uncredited adaptation of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding - returns to what was his surest ground in his first film: the pangs of adolescence. Sweet Charlotte (Gainsbourg) is a 13-year-old problem looking for somewhere to happen. She is the despair of her widowed father, drives her brother mad, knows she wants something better, but doesn't know what it is. Until Clara (Baudon) walks into her life. Clara too is 13, but she is also a successful concert pianist, wears pretty white dresses, lives in a lakeside mansion, and is generally just too good to be true. All Charlotte's mad hopes and fears, her desires and heel-stamping jealousies, come pouring out with the appearance of this young catalyst; but the experience is therapeutic, and the outcome one of adult optimism. The film exhibits all of Miller's strengths, in particular his canny way with actors; but best of all is its emotional truth. Adolescence is never comfortable; to face its memories honestly is part of being adult. CPea.
Cast and crew
Claude Miller, Luc Béraud, Bernard Stora, Annie Miller
Simon de la Brosse