Frankie is ‘a coat hanger about to be retired’. A 26-year-old model, she knows all too well that her career is ending. Make-up artists tut over her skin, casting directors say she’s too fat. Former model Diane Kruger takes the titular role in this French character portrait that flits between a clinic and modelling assignments, documentary-style, in an unclear chronology. It seems Frankie has been hospitalised for depression and a burgeoning eating disorder. Scenes at casting sessions and on shoots reveal the lonely life that drove her there: critical, unfriendly faces talk about her in the third person (‘she doesn’t understand,’ sighs one petulant photographer). Everyone is smoking, all the time. This is far from the glamorised fashion world seen in Hollywood chick-flicks. Here, a sparse soundtrack, harsh lighting and long scenes emphasise the dull side of the work – not a plea for sympathy, but an atmospheric picture and well-performed by a suitably downbeat Kruger. The chauffeur love interest feels a little tagged-on, but this is still a worthwhile watch for those interested in the dark side of fashion.
Friday June 15 2007
Cast and crew