Glasgow Film Festival 2021 – Spring Blossom review Pat Byrne
UK Premiere of Suzanne Lindon’s directorial debut
At Glasgow Film Festival Online 7 – 10 March, 2021
Suzanne Lindon, wrote directed and plays the lead role in this dreamy, very French, story of first love. The 20 year old director, casts herself as the sixteen year old, awkward school girl, also called Suzanne. Her life revolves around family life and she is on good terms with caring parents (Florence Viala and Frédéric Pierrot). At school she doesn’t quite fit in with her youthful classmates and she feels out of it at after school parties. Suzanne is not your typical moody, rebellious teenager but she is bored.
Each day as she walks to and from school through Montmartre, she passes a theatre where an actor Raphael (Arnaud Valois) catches her eye. Her infatuation for the thirty-five year grows and she sneaks into the theatre to watch him in rehearsal then hangs about nearby until they meet. Raphael is frustrated with acting and is drawn to the gauche young woman. His attention illuminates Suzanne and we see her filled with joy almost dancing in the street.
The relationship between the young girl and the adult is in no way portrayed as seedy or exploitative. Rather than indulge in passionate scenes Lindon shows their growing connection in an unexpected, carefully choreographed scene where the two are in perfect harmony. When they dance together the emotion between them is tangible; sweet and sensual in equal measure.
With the age gap and Suzanne’s naivety, everything points to a problematic relationship but Lindon’s tender and romantic film avoids all the cliches. This directorial debut is a triumph for Suzanne Lindon and brings a promise of Springtime and the possibility of awakenings.
Pat Byrne, March, 2021
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