|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Une nouvelle amie|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2014|
|Running time:||Ca. 108 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
Since her childhood her friends Claire (Anaïs Demoustier) and Laura (Isild Le Besco) were inseparable. They went through thick and thin, shared heartache and enjoyed the beautiful sides of life. Claire was there when Laura met her David (Romain Duris) and finally got married. She became the godmother of her child. It seemed to be a friendship for eternity. But then Laura got sick and Claire had to watch how the most important person in her life became weaker and weaker and finally died. Laura's death drops Claire into a deep hole. Work is out of the question. And even her own husband Gilles (Raphaël Personnaz) cannot free her from her grief. But for David and the baby she tries to be strong, because she promised Laura to take care of them. But one day, when she wants to visit her godchild unannounced, she discovers a secret that initially disturbs her, but then arouses her interest and finally makes her question her own emotional world. Because this secret could bring her one thing above all else: A new girlfriend!
With the drama "A new girlfriend", loosely based on a short story by the successful author Ruth Rendell, director François Ozon proves once again that he can reinvent himself with each of his films. Even though some themes such as death, coping with mourning and finding an identity are repeated in some of his films, Ozon experiments again and again with different styles of staging in different genres. Whether drama, musical, comedy, costume romance or erotic thriller - Ozon has always skilfully escaped the accusation of self-plagiarism. This alone makes him one of the most exciting filmmakers of European cinema - even if not all of his films are of convincing quality.
"A new girlfriend" doesn't belong to the director's great litters, but is nevertheless an absolutely successful drama on both an acting and a dramaturgical level. This already starts with the atmospheric opening sequence, which runs through the most important stations in Claire's and Laura's life in fast motion, making it clear to the viewer in just a few minutes how intense the friendship between the two has been. The masterful composition of images and music is a good proof of François Ozon's craftsmanship and artistic talent. For the rest of the story this opening is very important to understand why the prospect of a new "girlfriend" becomes a real obsession for Claire after an initial rejection.
At the same time the story is also about the lack of social acceptance of everything that is somehow different. The fact that David really blossoms for the first time after the death of his wife, when he can live out his secret in public without having to fear hostility or even worse consequences for himself and his child, shows very well under what pressure people are who do not correspond to the "social norm". Ozone's handling of the subject is fortunately not very striking, but very sensitive. Thus he skilfully avoids that the story degenerates into an involuntarily comical farce and instead can unfold its emotionality very well. Romain Duris and Anaï's Demoustier also deserve great praise, as they also rely on restraint in their playing, which makes them appear credible and authentic.
"A new girlfriend" is a very quiet, but quite haunting piece of French arthouse cinema. Certainly not a film for the masses, but despite its small lengths a must for all cinema enthusiasts who appreciate dramas with unusual stories. Worth seeing
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp