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Water Lilies

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Languid, sorrowful and strange, French filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s debut as a feature writer-director is a sensitive and daring portrait of female adolescence that’s curious about all longings, sexual confusions and grey areas of desire. The Parisian suburbs and, especially, the guys and gals of a local synchronised-swimming club offer Sciamma a distinct canvas on which to plant Marie (Pauline Acquart), Anne (Louise Blachère) and Floriane (Adele Haenel), three 15-year-olds at once different and the same.

Anne is large, awkward, desperate to sleep with a boy, but childish; Floriane is good-looking, flirtatious, confident, with a reputation for putting it about; Marie is quiet and watchful, small and pretty, the hardest to make judgements about. Each is trying to find some resolution and comfort in their feelings. It’s Marie with whom we travel, our guide from poolside (such beautiful underwater sequences) to club to bedroom.

Marie grows apart from Anne when she encounters Floriane at the local pool and willingly follows her around. Is Marie’s gaze one of fascination at Floriane’s maturity? Or is Anne simply falling in love?
Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 14 March 2008
  • Duration:84 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Céline Sciamma
  • Cast:
    • Pauline Acquart
    • Adèle Haenel
    • Louise Blachere
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