I haven’t researched the true story that this movie is based off of (yet), though I’ve had plenty of time to do so (not really). It’s an interesting dilemma concerning race relations and the melting pot that occurs not just in France, but in other countries around the world. France is of particular note (this is a French film): the large Muslim minority coupled with the increasingly disgruntled youth and the lack of job opportunities available makes things incredibly tense indeed.

Actually, I might be mixing the wrong things together, but even then, both of these groups on their own doesn’t makes things easy. The film itself touches on both of these aspects, through the experience of a young lady who is just looking for attention. She is out of school and has no job, but also has no real ambition either, other than roller blading around Paris and riding the train. She lies a lot too, which gets her into trouble when she commits the biggest lie of all (I can spoil, since the trailer decides to do it for everyone).

The movie is split into two distinct arcs: Circumstances and Consequences. Circumstances introduces the players: Jeanne, the young woman, and her mother Loiuse; a young man, Franck, who is captivated by the young woman; a divorced couple, Alex and Judith, with a son, Nathan; and the son’s grandfather, Samuel Bleistein, who has a history with the young woman’s mother and is also a prominent Jewish lawyer. Consequences deal with, well, the consequences regarding all of the characters and how they react to the fake attack. There is a theme of renewal and alienation running throughout the film: Alex and Judith get back together (for reasons that were unclear to me) at the dismay of Nathan, and Louise and Samuel reconnect because of Jeanne. The youth are alienated, but are drawn together as a result of the alienation. Much like, well, youth everywhere that experiences events in life that confuse them and offer no real answers. France just happens to be the perfect setting for such a film.

The film isn’t perfect: like I said, the reasoning for the divorced couple remains unclear (they really do have a strong dislike for each other), but that acts to move Nathan forward. Also, the second arc moves rather quickly in comparison to the first, but then, it can because Jeanne’s story falls apart almost immediately. I’m only nitpicking though. This is a rather strong film, a character study acting as a speculation for why someone would cause a national stir over a fake crime. Enlightening and engaging.

B+

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