french films > Dying or Feeling Better

Dying or Feeling Better

dying or feeling better

Dying or Feeling Better

cast: Florence Thomassin, François Civil, Marine Barbosa, Karine Barbosa

year: 2008

colour: yes


director: Laurence Ferreira Barbosa

runtime: 113

The teenage blues have rarely been evoked with the acuteness and idiosyncrasy that Laurence Ferreira Barbosa brings to this story of a lost boy and his new, very non-conformist acquaintances. Moody Martial (Civil) has moved to a new town and a new flat with his mother Sabine (Thomassin), who’s sympathetic but untogether and who sometimes tries just too hard. After his mother makes a disastrous attempt to kick-start his social life, Martial withdraws even further, only to find himself increasingly fascinated by his school’s other outsiders, black identical twins Colette and Ernestine (Marine and Karine Barbosa). As the teenagers’ relationship becomes a folie à trois, they find themselves drawn into some initially farcical, eventually dangerous situations. Barbosa sensitively juggles registers of comedy, social embarrassment and psychological drama in a story that – even in the crowded field of French adolescent dramas – stands out as an evocation of how it feels to be young, strange and lonely. Remarkable performances by new discoveries Civil and the Barbosa sisters give the film that extra edge of hip-ness and unsettling perversity.


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