This is a sprightly and economical debut from French former journalist and writer-director Alix Delaporte. It blends Loachian naturalism with elements of fairytale as it describes a possibly redemptive relationship between a young, twitchy ex-prisoner (the almost inappropriately beautiful Clotilde Hesme) and a bluff but kind Bayeux fisherman, Tony (the excellent Gregory Gadebois).
Arguably, Delaporte loads the dice in her presentation of a chalk-and-cheese relationship. Angele is plainly no angel: a petty thief, lacking in propriety and with a blunt attitude towards sex, she is at war with her probation officer and family services over custody of her nine-year-old son. Meanwhile, Tony, with his silent, interrogative stares, is classic diamond-in-the-rough material.
It is an engaging and affecting drama with Delaporte bringing out the best of her performers and, with her cinematographer Claire Mathon, barely disguising her affection in her winning portrayal of the minutiae of the life of this Normandy fishing community.