A captivating French tale of lust and discovery – The Hollywood Reporter

Anaïs, the fanciful protagonist of Paris in Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s captivating debut Anaïs in love, non-stop, scattered and always on the move. Because of her claustrophobia, taking the subway is unquestionable (including the elevator); She likes to ride around the city on her bike.

When we first met her, Anaïs was late for a meeting with her landlord. A pulsating piano tune joins the young woman’s race from the florist to her apartment, her backpack bouncing up and down as she clutches a bouquet of flowers.

Anaïs in love

Key point

Totally charming.

Release date: Friday, April 29
Cast: Anaïs Demoustier, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Denis Podalydès, Jean-Charles Clichet, Xavier Guelfi, Christophe Montenez
Director and screenwriter: Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet

1 hour 38 minutes

It’s the perfect introduction to this sometimes weary, cheerful woman played by Anaïs Demoustier. The energy of the opening sequence is really maintained as we watch the character squabbles with desire. Bourgeois-Tacquet’s film is fun, a motivational portrait of a young woman stumbling in love, falling in love, giving and taking back. Every romance offers an opportunity to grow, but Anaïs in love not aging in any neat, linear sense. The movie is really preoccupied – obsessed – with the process of growing up, other than just getting old. Anaïs’ journey contains moments of euphoric momentum and then, rapidly, diminished inertia. The movie, at times, feels frenetic and a bit random – just like our protagonist.

The lines of Anaïs’ personality, expressed in her brief, lively conversation with her host, suggest an amused woman. When her landlord impatiently convinces her to install a smoke detector and pay her past due rent, Anaïs runs around the apartment, dressing for a party, and confesses everything between her and her partner Raoul (Christophe Montenez). ) is not going well. The problem, Anaïs tries to explain when wearing a new dress, is that she finds it boring, boring, not for her.

There’s some truth to that statement, and other deeply contrived things Anaïs utters throughout the film. She craves passion but seems too distracted to nurture it. She craves mystery, difference, anything! Daniel (Denis Podalydès), a man roughly the same age as her father, with whom she begins a steady and drama-free affair, promises it at first. But that relationship runs into its own set of barriers when Daniel realizes that he doesn’t want to change his life. He does not want to be romantically involved with Anaïs, whom he thinks will inevitably leave him, nor does he want to completely end the life he has built with his partner, Emilie ( Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), a famous writer.

Anaïs, who, obviously, was not used to being rejected, did not accept the breakup on good terms. She becomes focused on Emilie, trying to understand why Daniel chose her instead. She reads Emilie’s books and watches her interviews – acts familiar to anyone struggling through the tightening mess of heartbreak. But the process comes with its own surprises, and what begins when curiosity turns into fascination, attraction, craving.

Story at the heart of Anais in love is one of the charms. It’s about you finding yourself smitten with someone else, so watched, that their presence becomes the sole objective. Although Anaïs has other responsibilities (she needs to finish her thesis and care for her mother, whose cancer has returned), she avoids them all to chase Emilie.

The two met by chance on the street, an encounter that showed Anaïs’ charm. Understanding began to appear in her at that moment. Of course Daniel likes Emilie, a beautiful woman whose books leave Anaïs vulnerable and inspired. “I like your style. It’s blinding,” Anaïs told Emilie at a busy intersection. “We seem emotionally close.”

Is Anaïs’ love for Emilie real or just projection based? Does it matter in the end? Anaïs in love poke around and ask these questions, putting two lovers in an encounter that tests many different theories. Anaïs and Emilie’s courting class was familiar, but in the hands of Demoustier and Tedeschi, they felt different, more ravishing. These are two people trying to get to know each other, Emilie at first skeptical of Anaïs’ interest and Anaïs yearning to learn more about this stern, elderly woman.

Their encounters – even if brief – are stimulating; they capture the thrill of falling in love, which is a hidden process in self-discovery. In Emilie’s presence, Anaïs was another version of herself, more attentive, less distracted. For Emilie, Anaïs ignited a quiet passion, an energy that allowed her to write wildly and complete her book. DP Noé Bach’s drowsy, yellow palette becomes bubbly during two women’s horn flirting scenes.

The couple finally acted on their wishes, ending their love on a sparkling beach on a lazy summer afternoon. It was a dream for both of them, but it didn’t last. As in her previous relationships, Anaïs, courageously pursues her pleasure, against limits, contemplations and realities. Her desire to be loved can only take her so far before reality bursts the bubble. But Anaïs in love not particularly interested in crushing our protagonist, who, towards the end of the film, begins to see strength in her quirks. It’s really about her journey – one that I wouldn’t hesitate to watch over and over again.

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