Fat Girl (Criterion Collection) (R) (Widescreen) product details page

Fat Girl (Criterion Collection) (R) (Widescreen)

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A downbeat tale about the tortures of adolescence, A Ma Soeur goes well beyond most people's worst childhood experiences. Everybody in Anaïs' family dumps their problems on her, while constantly reminding her that she's a helpless, chubby girl who can't stop eating. The only halfway decent relationship that she has is with her sister, Elena, who has some affinity with her, even though Elena often degrades her, blames her for her own faults, and is forced to drag her around when she's hunting for men. Director Catherine Breillat expertly captures these awkward years in the dialogue between the two sisters, the sometimes uncomfortable ****** scenes, and in Anaïs' anguished facial expressions. The ****** scenes are lengthy, graphic, and portray underage ******, but this sort of stuff is becoming de rigueur for contemporary French cinema. All of the acting is excellent, from Libero de Rienzo's performance as the slimy, Italian college student who shows off to Elena about other girls he's used and then dumped, to Arsinee Khanjian, as the sisters' emotionally unstable, chain-smoking mom, to Anaïs Reboux's Anaïs, who seems to have no hope in this world. The ending of the film is certainly controversial with some critics lashing out against it. But undoubtedly this is French cinema at its most fearless, a film one thinks about, discusses, and does not forget. Adam Bregman, All Movie Guide