Look At Me

Look At Me

****

Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Lolita (Marilou Berry) is a pain in the arse. Everyone says so. A grumpy teenager who wears only black, because of weight issues, who might want to be an actress, or might want to be a singer. What she is mainly is bad-tempered and temperamental.

Her father Etienne (Jean-Pierre Bacri) is a successful novelist, suffering from writer's block, who doesn't know what to do with her and so ignores her instead. He finds it easier to concentrate on his new young wife, new daughter and a new generation writer, whom he wishes to sign to his publishing company.

Copy picture

Events come to a head at Etienne's country house (as things tend to do in all French movies), as the writer, his wife, Lolita's boyfriend and Etienne's new family gather to discuss business and listen to Lolita sing in the local church.

Starting as a story about Lolita and her father, this film has a cleverly constructed Swiss watch of a plot, in which dad's monstrously casual approach to his daughter ripples out in his attitude toward other things, which he finds too awkward, too ugly or not diverting to bother with. Circling are sub-plots about Etienne's friends and relatives who all become contaminated by his attitudes. Pretty soon relationships are falling apart all over, from the newly successful writer, corrupted by his success, to Lolita, herself, unable to trust anyone for fear they're only interested in her father.

Comme Une Image is a well-acted and beautifully observed satire of modern attitudes. The beauty of it being that if you wish, you can enjoy it on that level, or simply enjoy it as a funny and touching story of a girl desperate for love in a family where love is dependant on appearances.

Similar to Bacri and Agnes Jaoui's Un Aire De Famille and Les Gout des Autres, this would appear to be a slight tale about family life and yet the message is definitely to look beyond the surface.

I encourage lovers of intelligent cinema to try it and do the same.

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2004
Share this with others on...
Look At Me packshot
A young woman finds herself torn between idolising her father and hating him for his indifferent attitude towards her.
Amazon link

Read more Look At Me reviews:

Scott Macdonald ****
David Haviland ****

Director: Agnès Jaoui

Writer: Agn├Ęs Jaoui, Jean-Pierre Bacri

Starring: Marilou Berry, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Agnès Jaoui, Laurent Grévill, Virginie Desarnauts, Keine Bouhiza, Grégoire Oestermann, Serge Riaboukine, Michèle Moretti, Jean-Pierre Lazzerini, Jacques Boko

Year: 2004

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: France

Festivals:

EIFF 2004

Search database: