Facts and Figures
Run time: 96 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 11th December 1985
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 6.9 / 10
L'Effrontée Movie Review
Made in 1985, Claude Miller's film focuses on a bratty girl (Charlotte Gainsbourg, only 14 at the time) wasting away a month after school is out and before she goes on summer holiday. Charlotte becomes obsessed with a child piano prodigy and through a ridiculous coincidence, ends up encountering her en route to getting her piano stool repaired. Charlotte then hangs around the metal shop in order to try to get closer to Clara, the prodigy, and hopefully spend her holiday with the young girl.
The days laze on (how much time does this Clara need to get ready for the concert?) and Charlotte has all manner of coming-of-age adventures, most of which involve her throwing various temper tantrums and ignoring her sickly friend Lulu. It all comes to a head at the concert, ending pretty much as we expect it will, and not without creeping us out a bunch along the way.
For starters, Miller has Gainsbourg appear both topless and ass-bared at various times in the film. It's inappropriate at the least, pornographic at the worst. But since it's French, it's easy to dismiss as "one of those things" they do over there. But I'd be hard-pressed to recommend this movie as a "family film," where you may find it categorized since it's about a young girl growing up. If nothing else, her attempted rape isn't going to thrill the Disney set.
The rest of the film is just generally inexplicable. Characters are prone to making sweeping statements about the littlest things. When Clara's dad pronounces, "I'm going to munch a peach!" we wonder what flourishes he tosses off when he goes to the toilet. The strange musical interludes are actually the least weird part of the film, though hearing that odd, poppy, French song over and over certainly tries the patience.
This movie won two Cesar awards in 1985. I have trouble believing it would win anything today.