François Ozon’s erotically charged drama "Young & Beautiful" is as gorgeously sexy and as emotionally distant as its main character.
She’s Isabelle (Marine Vacth), a 17-year-old schoolgirl who eagerly loses her virginity to a German surfer (Lucas Prisor) during a family beach vacation. Unsatisfied by her first sexual encounter, she seeks out more by hiring herself out as a high-priced prostitute, servicing older businessmen in ritzy hotels. When one of her regulars, Georges (Johan Leysen), dies during intercourse, the police become involved and Isabelle’s double life is exposed.
‘Young & Beautiful’
Opens Friday, June 13, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably NC-17 for some explicit sexuality; in French with subtitles; 93 minutes.
Ozon ("Swimming Pool," "Potiche"), who wrote and directed, presents Isabelle as a blank (and often naked) canvas on which others — her clients, her protective mother (Géraldine Pailhas) and her easygoing stepfather (Frédéric Pierrot) — project their own insecurities and sexual imagery. Alas, neither he nor Vacth’s performance leaves much space to grasp her view of her burgeoning sensual nature.
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