DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Summertime (La Belle Saison)

Director - Catherine Corsini - 2016

"Mostly clean movie"
An effective yet very conventional French Lesbian drama wraps up the BFI Flare LGBT Film Festival this week, but the film has little appeal to a more universal audience

This French Lesbian tale set in 1971 will premiere this week at the 30th BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival, including the screening at the closing gala. A country girl named Delphine (Izïa Higelin) moves to Paris and meets feminist protester Carole (Cécile De France). They fall in love, which prompts Carole to abandon her male partner. Delphine then moves back to her parent’s farm because her father had a stroke and is no longer able to work.

Carole quickly realises how much she misses her lover and moves to the countryside in order to be with her lover. The two women, Delphine’s debilitated father and unsuspecting mother are all living under the same roof. The latter is blithely unaware of the relation between the two women, but then the unavoidable happens, and Delphine is forced to make a very difficult decision.

Summertime is not a bad film, but there is nothing dirty about it. It relies on unrequited love and Lesbian devices explored exhaustively and more effectively many times before, therefore the “mostly clean movie” rating. It does not have the wit and the energy of the almost equally-titled British Lesbian romance My Summer of Love (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2004), the fervour of The Pass (Ben A William’s gay-football drama that opened the BFI Flare this week), the dramatic elegance of Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015) nor strong political tones of The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003), set in the 1969 student revolutions in Paris.

Corsini succeeded in delivering a beautiful picture of the both French countryside and the capital in the 1970s, but the narrative lacks flair and vigor. Julia Roberts lookalike Cécile De France’s performance is lukewarm, as is her chemistry with Izïa Higelin. Carole is never as charming and riveting as Carol (played by Cate Blanchett in Todd Haynes’s movie). The acting is neither poor nor amateurish, and there are a few delicate and sensual moments, but little more than that .

As a result, Summertime is a niche film, and it does not feel universal. It will be appreciated in the LGBT film circuit, – particularly by Lesbian – but it is unlikely that it will win the hearts of a broader audience.

The BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival is taking place this week and DMovies is following it live. Just click here for more information.



"Mostly clean movie"

By Victor Fraga - 19-03-2016

By Victor Fraga - 19-03-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 ye...

DMovies Poll

Should smoking in cinema be banned?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

The world is blithely unaware of the coup [Read More...]
Back in 2010, Germany striker Mario Gomez urged [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Perhaps no other 20th century artist has captured [Read More...]
Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Thousands of reviews, opinion pieces, YouTube videos, blog [Read More...]

Read More

The Last Witness

Piotr Szkopiak
2018

Fiona Whitelaw - 15-08-2018

Young journalist uncovers dirty war secret involving the slaughter of 22,000 Polish officers, in UK-Poland co-production perhaps best suited for primetime television - in cinemas Friday, August 17th [Read More...]

Distant Constellation

Shevaun Mizrahi
2018

Victor Fraga - 14-08-2018

Because we're all made of stars! Turkish doc about residents of a retirement home has tasteful dreamy touch, and is a fitting tribute to those in their twilight years - in cinemas Friday, August 17th [Read More...]

The Guardians (Les Gardiennes)

Xavier Beauvois
2018

Victor Fraga - 12-08-2018

Compelling French drama investigates the role of women safeguarding the family and the home during WW1, as well as the tough and "unjust" decisions that they have to make - in cinemas Friday, August 17th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *