Everything started during summer holidays somewhere in the Southern part of France where people sitting at the table are talking more than they are eating. After dinner they are going to have a nap. After that they are going to the beach or drinking vine in the terrace and speaking about things again.
As soon as gets dark and all people are asleep, a very young girl a teenager gets away from home. She is extremely beautiful and wants to get more life experience. The other day she met a guy on the beach and now he is trying to seduce her. A virgin girl.
It is a French movie of a universal topic – youth, impatience, and sexuality which is affordable for everyone who can pay 300 euro to a girl calling herself Leah. When she is humiliated, the client has to pay 500 euro. The girl hides money in the closet, in her parents’ home because she does not need them – Leah belongs to a great family, she is attending school, has friends, attracts boys’ attention, is beautiful, smart student and a prostitute as well. Why?
Four seasons alter together with the stages of the girl’s life. Here the viewer is allowed to enjoy the delicate beauty of an actress performing the major role Marine Vacth, to watch seemingly idyllic and cosy family relationship scenes which create a sharp contrast with open and aesthetical Leah’s sex scenes with customers are shown. There are lots of climatic moments like love triangles, dirty family secrets, and the client having a heart attack but the heart starts to beat faster when police finds a mother of a girl.
Rude situations which were presented delicately and theme of a movie remind me of another movie called “Elles” released in 2011. In the film “Young and beautiful” the personal girl’s decisions are stressed more than the social context. A half-smile after a regular client’s proposal makes an impression that this kind of money making is appropriate for her but after that you start to doubt – does she really know what she is doing?
There is no clear “because” in the movie. It feels like something is missing, there is no deeper relation to the main character. Her thoughts and motives remain a secret. I think that the sexuality of the youth is like a loaded gun and young people do not know how to use it. It is when you see just the symptoms of your power, as people’s desires and weaknesses but you understand neither the final destination nor the meaning. Leah’s behaviour can look like the most primitive instinct, a syndrome of Lolita, the courage, a natural harlotry or some other “diagnosis”. I am sure that this movie will give you a pause. In essence it is a very attractive movie about women’s sexuality.
Fransua Ozone, the director of a movie, also known for the movies as “8 women” and “Pool”. The film “Young and beautiful” was nominated for Golden Palm (Palm D’Or) and was awarded in the San Sebastian festival. The film is greatly appreciated by critics all over the world.